Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews the Florentine Opera concert performance of Carlisle Floyd's Wuthering Heights:
The Florentine's performances, led by conductor Joseph Mechavich and accompanied by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, featured soprano Georgia Jarman in the role of Cathy and baritone Kelly Markgraf as Heathcliff.
The singers stood at music stands, moving to onstage chairs or leaving the stage when their parts in a given scene ended.
Jarman melded tremendous vocal clarity and color with subtle body language to create a headstrong, demanding, self-absorbed Cathy. Markgraf sang with great power and presence, while creating a dark, brooding Heathcliff.
Mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer brought vocal finesse and warmth to the role of Nelly, Cathy's nurse/servant. Tenor Vale Rideout used vocal power and musical subtlety to create a sympathetic Edgar Linton.
Soprano Heather Buck moved from light, facile passage work to soaring power in the role of Isabel Linton. Tenor Chad Shelton brought vocal power and musical depth to his portrayal of Hindley Earnshaw. Matthew Burns was a powerful, impassive Mr. Earnshaw.
Tenor Frank Kelley was a bit uneven in the role of Joseph. Tenor Aaron Short gave a solid performance as Lockwood.
Part of the success of this concert performance came from Floyd's orchestral writing. His score is more than just accompaniment and support for the singers; it's an integral element in conveying the drama of the story, providing everything from the emotional tension, tenderness, angst and anger to the frantic sounds of a storm on the moors. (Elaine Schmidt)
Keighley News reports the release of the trailer of Ian Howard and Josh Chapman's documentary Brontë. Ask The Locals:
The trailer, produced by documentary maker Oliver Chapman, who is Josh's brother, can now be viewed on the Wuthering Hikes Twitter page.
Mr Howard and Josh Chapman say their own research and the information contained within the novels themselves suggests previously unrecognised locations around Haworth inspired the books' content.
Mr Howard, of Oxenhope, began investigating the topic more than a year ago, helped by Josh Chapman who provided him with the memoirs of his grandmother, Joanna Hutton, the first female curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum in the 1960s.
Included amongst the memoirs was an unpublished manuscript by a woman called Dorothy Van Ghent. She died in 1968 and had also been trying to identify the actual locations associated with the Brontës' novels. (Miran Rahman)
The Stoke Sentinel interviews the writer Katherine Frank who has a confession to make about her 1990 Emily Brontë biography: A Chainless Soul:
Katherine travelled the African west coast for three years on the track of Kingsley. Little wonder then that her next book, on Emily Brontë, felt a little ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’. “My heart wasn’t in it,” she admits. “She never went anywhere. It was just Haworth.”
Well, not really. Maybe she didn't travel very much, but she was in Brussels for almost a year.

This week's New York Times Paperback Row includes
A True Novel, by Minae Mizumura. Translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter. (Other Press) This is a masterly cross-cultural adaptation of “Wuthering Heights,” set in Long Island and postwar Japan. Taro is a brooding, ambitious immigrant in 1960s New York; flashbacks reveal his impoverished boyhood, his rise to wealth and success, and his obsession with Yoko, who cannot overcome their class differences despite her love for him. (Ihsan Taylor)
Brontë Crater (top right corner).
Image taken by the Messenger spacecraft
(December 12, 2011). Source.
Also in the New York Times, an article about Mercury, the planet:
All the craters are named for artists. Shakespeare, John Lennon and Walt Disney are there. Alvin Ailey is too, as are Bach, Basho, the Brontës, Hemingway, Faulkner, Kahlil Gibran, Michelangelo and 361 others, all cataloged in “The Gazetteer and Atlas of Astronomy.” (Kristin Dombek)
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/01/10/4463068_noteworthy-paperbacks.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Belfast Telegraph interviews the author Martina Devlin:
Fantasy dinner party
My first guests would be the Brontë family, including the father. I visited their house last year and I love the story of the family. (Kerry McKittrick)
Dagbladet (Norway) describes like this the song Delirious by Susanne Sundfør:
Med sine militaristiske skarptrommer, røyksoppske bass, cinematiske strykere og lyse insisterende, drepende vokal framstår låta som en blanding av Emily Brontës litteraturklassiker «Stormfulle Høyder» og Nicolas Winding Refns neonglitrende «Drive».  (Sigrid Hvidsten) (Translation)
Empty Lighthouse Magazine lists  the ten books every woman should read:
 9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre, orphaned and living in the home of her cruel aunt, is sent to Lowood charity school where she continues to be abused by adults. Jane eventually becomes a governess at Thornfield and falls in love with Mr. Rochester. Although she finds love, she still faces struggles beyond imagination. This story is tragic, yet romantic at the same time.  (Kassondra)
The Monitor publishes another list, the 12 greats of the UK. Wuthering Heights is on it:
Reeling from her sister’s death (and the passing of two other family members) Charlotte Brontë (whose own Jane Eyre had also been published under a pseudonym) edited and rereleased the novel under Emily’s real name in 1850. In doing so, she arguably unseated her own work as one of the 12 greats of the UK, as the passing of time has convinced critics that Wuthering Heights is a psychological and literary tour-de-force. (...)
People who dislike Wuthering Heights are typically repulsed by the monstrous and irrational behavior of the characters, especially the two protagonists. But I can think of few works of tragedy that are as apt for our present self-absorbed age of “me.”
Coupled with the pervasive sense of doom that arise from the dark moors and the ghastly winds that howl across the heather, this exploration of mad and jealous love leaves an indelible mark on the reader, and those wuthering gusts sweep across the last 170 years to be felt in every gothic cranny of literature since.  (David Bowles)
The Free Press Journal reviews the latest Tim Burton film, Big Eyes:
Sexism and gender inequality forced Mary Ann Evans, Amantine Aurore Dupin, the Bronte sisters and Louisa May Alcott to adopt male pen names (George Eliot, George Sand, Currer/Ellis Bell, A. M. Barnard). Critics ignored female artists or treated them with disdain.
Maddie Crum in The Huffington Post chooses several 'warm' quotes to help you through winter:
"I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots." -- Charlotte Brontë, Villette (Chapter XXXI)
We found this passing reference in a review of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle slightly unfair. In The Guardian:
In such circumstances, an author could so easily hae struck a sentimental note, offered a dose of stiff upper lip stoicism - or struck out for Wuthering Heights-ian hysteria. But Smith knew her family better. The setting might be pure Brontë, but the dialogue is down-to earth. (Nicola Davis)
Toonzone reviews the 2009 anime Sweet Blue Flowers 青い花):
An accidental enrollment in the Basketball Club, a production of Wuthering Heights, and even the admiration of a teacher can all cause troubles for this teenage pair. Sweet Blue Flowers brings a bit of Lifetime to the cartoon world, but how does the series survive in the era of Ellen, Glee, and Modern Family? (Chad Bonin)
And Bustle gives you possible readings if you have liked Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries:
Jane Eyre. Walter Moody essentially stumbles into the action of The Luminaries — the guy just wanted some gold! — and eventually becomes its catalyst for change. Although you’ve probably read Jane Eyre before (most likely for its still-stirring romantic storyline) why not approach it with a new view? Jane, continually bounced around, from orphanage to Thornfield Hall to the Rivers’ family home, is constantly an outsider, a position that affords her the ability to bring major change to everyone around her. (Kate Erbland)
20 Minutos (Spain) talks about the dark side of the Victorian era:
Del lado negro de la realidad emergieron los crímenes de Jack el Destripador en 1888, la miseria narrada en las novelas de Charles Dickens o el romanticismo oscuro de las hermanas Brontë.  (José Ángel González) (Translation)
The Daily Express also is eager to one of the most awaited 2015 releases, the Claire Herman's Charlotte Brontë biography; Gozar de la lectura (in Spanish) reviews Wuthering Heights.

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