Peanut Sauce and Ape Actors

Beninese Appetizer PEANUT SAUCE INGREDIENTS 1 small tomato 1 small onion 2 tablespoons peanut oil 1½ tablespoons chili powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cube MaggiTM beef bouillon* 1 cup water 10 tablespoons smooth peanut butter […]

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

Stage Directors The average opera has several principal singers, a few comprimario singers (opera speak for bit players), a chorus and sometimes dancers. Some supernumeraries might also be hired to carry big stuff, sit or […]

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

The So-Called Life of an Opera Singer Life upon the wicked stage ain’t nothin’ for a girl. Ellie in Jerome Kern’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical Show Boat* People outside “The Business” are fascinated when […]

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

THE FRENCH AND THE RUSSIANS Once everybody else saw that the Italians had come up with a Good Thing, other countries wanted to get in on it. I already covered the Germans in an earlier […]

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

DEATH, OPERATIC STYLE In most operas, somebody dies. Usually it’s the hero or the heroine, or both of them. Occasionally, someone else will get in on the act, too, not wanting to be left out […]

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

Those Crazy Germans In my last lesson, I mentioned opera plots and how they are reminiscent of lurid cable TV channels that specialize in re-enacted crimes. As an example, I gave the plot of Verdi’s […]

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