Thursday, May 28, 2009

Noted opera star/Booklover
from the Herald on Sunday, 24 May, 2009

Opera singer Conal Coad performs the role of Mustafà in The NBR New Zealand Opera’s production of The Italian Girl in Algiers opening in Auckland tonight, Thursday 28 May. Bookings

Conal Coad, (pic right in shot from the opera), one of NZ's most renowned opera singers, is home for his role in The Italian Girl in Algiers, is also abooklover and voracious reader. He spoke to the Herald on Sunday about his reading.

The book I love most is….William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream could well fit into this category. As an opera singer, the beauty of the language is of major importance to me and Shakespeare's words flow like music, in an almost operatic fashion. The play is one of the world's most sparkling comedies and has also been wonderfully adapted into one of the 20th century's finest operas by Benjamin Britten, giving me my favourite role - Bottom. That a work written more than 400 years ago can still reach out to enchant and amuse us is a great testament to great writing.

The book I’m reading right now is…. The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld.
This is a fascinating murder-mystery set in New York early in the twentieth century. Amongst its principal protagonists are Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung who, by their presence, bring an intriguing reality to the plot, which nevertheless is totally fictional. Freud (with Jung) was indeed in New York during 1909 and his American experiences left him with a dislike of the country - one that he never explained. Rubenfeld has cleverly used this brief visit to suggest a situation involving psychotic disturbances and murder that could well have left Freud a most unhappy visitor. Highly recommended for anyone who likes a different "take" on the normal crime novel.

The book I’d like to read next is… Gallery A, Sydney 1964 – 1983. This is a most interesting major catalogue for an exhibition of the same name that opened at the Campbelltown Arts Centre in March. It is an in-depth survey of a famous Sydney gallery that introduced many influential and controversial artists during the ’60s and ’70s.

The publication includes many essays, articles and archival images by Nicholas Chambers, Peter Fay, Daniel Thomas, Nick Waterlow and a number of other influential Australian art writers, all of whom were involved in the exhibition. For anyone interested in Antipodean art from this period, this promises to be fascinating.

It is currently on my coffee table and although the images have been "tasted" the "meat" of the publication is waiting...
The Bookman says welcome home Conal. I am looking forward to seeing you on the Aotea stage.
The Wellington season of the opera was a virtual sell-out so Aucklanders are urged to book now.
And to see/learn more about this marvellous opera go to Donald Trott's excellent blog.

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