Blog and Book Reviews

LA Phil “Alice in Wonderland” 2/26/15

February 26, 2015

I was very lucky to attend the dress rehearsal of “Alice in Wonderland”, a new production on Ursuk Chin’s composition/Librettist David Henry Hwang, a West Coast premier.  Susanna Malkki is a conductor, and she does an amazing work. For her innovative multimedia events, director/designer/video artist Netia Jones is creating “Alice in Wonderland” into a glittering, crazed and non-sense operetta.  It is crazily FUN!!  It is humorous, joking, energetic, crazy… Jones is creating Disney Hall stage into a real Alice in Wonderland. You have to see it!!  It is imaginative, creative, and silly! Some of fantastic casts are Alice: Rachele Gilmore, and White Rabbit: Andrew Watts.

LA Opera: The Ghosts of Versailles 2/19/15

February 20, 2015

I went to see LA opera: The Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano and William M. Hoffman on Wednesday February 18, and it was just great! The story is very silly and non-sense, but it is so fun! And I was so impressed by the stage.. It is so colorful and imaginative. I am sure it costs a fortune to make this extravagant stage and costumes. I guess that is one of the reasons this opera is not played often. Of course singers are just amazing! This opera requires a big cast, including ghosts, and simply I can’t name everybody. The highlight is Patti LuPone’s Samira! You MUST see her. Also Guanqun Yu’s Rosina is impressive. Yu has seamless and pure voice, and she sings effortlessly. She has a big future! Figaro is done by Lucas Meachem, and he has a perfect character and stage presence for it. I am so glad I went!

正妻 慶喜と美賀子 上・下 林真理子 講談社 2/19/15

February 19, 2015

新聞連載小説に加筆修正された、長編小説。はっきり言ってとてもおもしろかった。江戸時代最後の将軍になった徳川慶喜に嫁いだ公家の姫、美賀子。徳川幕府が崩壊し、明治維新が始まった時代の今まであまり触れられることのなかった歴史に焦点を当てた小説。女性の視点から書かれ、世俗から離れた公家の姫が、「普通」の人になっていく姿を描く。もちろん、どんなことも、焦点の持っていきかたによって、話の展開は大きく変わる訳で(離婚協議が良い例!)、これが、男目線で、慶喜から見た美賀子を描いたら、また、それも面白いかも。明治維新の歴史について、新しいことを学んだ気がする。

Martha Argerich and LA Phil 2/15/15

February 15, 2015

I went to listen Martha Argerich’s Schumann concerto at the dress rehearsal on Thursday. She is a legendary pianist, and it is so exciting to hear her in live. She is one of the best virtuoso pianists in the recent years, and she is as strong as ever (I think she is 73!). She is so imaginative and expressive. It is so perfect for her to play Schumann concerto. I heard this concerto is one of her favorites now. Her music is never stiff. She tries new ideas, and her music is always fresh as if it is composed front of us. She has millions of different timber and color. Before the concerto was Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, and after was Strauss’ celebrated Death and Transfiguration. The conductor was Juraj Valcuha. I am so glad I had a chance to hear Argerich!

 

東京アクアリウム  小池真理子  中央公論新社 2/15/15

February 15, 2015

これは、とても美しい短編集。東京の片隅で繰り広げられる愛の物語。それぞれにどこにでもいそうな主人公が出てきて、どこにでもいそうな誰かに関わる。心の襞に触れる、魂と魂の語らい、そして、別れ。読んでいると、時に自然に涙がこぼれてしまう。特別な気持ちに沈んでいく、小池真理子の恋愛ジャーニ―集。

Opera in Theatre “La forza del destino by Verdi” 2/4/15

February 4, 2015

It was my first experience to see “Opera in Theatre”, and I am pretty impressed by the high quality of the show. The production and the cast is a “Dream Team”! The film is from Wiener Staatoper, Zubin Mehta, a conductor, Nina Stemme, a soprano who portrays Leonora passionately and strongly, Salvatore Licitra as Alvaro (Leonora’s lover), and Carlos Alvarez as Don Carlo (Leonora’s brother). The staging is very colorful, and of course music making is amazing under the baton of Mehta. We can see singers’ face expressions so closely on the screen, and the sound is pretty good. I will be happy to go back to the theatre to see more production!

 

Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters at CAFAM 2/4/15

February 4, 2015

It is so inspiring!! I loved this exhibition!! All of the quilts I saw there are just beyond I can imagine as quilts go. They are so fun, so artistic, so creative, so imaginative…. Quilts talk to us. Quilts express to us. Each quilter uses different process and different materials. There is absolutely not limit in their expression. Artists presented are Joe Cunningham, Luke Haynes, Jimmy McBride, Aaron McIntosh, Joel Otterson, Dan Olfe, Shawn Quinlan, and Ben Venom. The exhibition will run until May 3.

2015 February A Quilt at Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters at CAFAM

散歩の楽しみ  2/2/15

February 2, 2015

日本の皆さんには信じられないかもしれないけれど、ロスアンジェルスは今日も快晴。青空が広がり、鳥たちが一日中美しい声で、数えきれない歌を披露しています。窓は全開、気持ち良い風が、家の中を通りすぎています。最近の私の楽しみの一つに散歩があるんですね!新しく引っ越してきた地域は、ロスアンジェルスの中でも比較的古くからある場所で、それぞれの家がとても個性的。歩いていると、家の持ち主の主張が感じられ、すごく楽しい!スペイン風あり、1940年代のコンテンポラリー調あり、山小屋あり。それぞれの家が、歩いている私に語り掛けてきます。また、このあたりは、小さな丘が沢山あり、それを上手く利用して、テラスを造ったり、眺めを楽しめるようにも暮らしていて、それを見るのも楽しい!都心に近いので、クール(!)な人種が多いこともあるかも。カリフォルニアの自生の植物(サボテン系、何せ水が極端に少ないので。海は近いけれど!)でお庭を造っている家も多く、それも私のもっかの楽しみ。我々の家も、前庭はカリフォルニアの自生植物庭園になっているのですが、裏庭の大きなスロープに手のかからない、それでいて綺麗で楽しい野生の庭にしたく、研究中なんです。仕事もあるので、毎日は出掛けられないけれど、時間を見つけて、近所を探索。急坂が沢山あるので、運動にもなり、一石二鳥!今日も、午後行って来よう!

A Movie “The Humbling” 1/28/15

January 28, 2015

I am a big fan of both Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig! The movie starts strongly! Pacino (Simon Axler, an aging actor) is preparing a Shakespeare Theatre, and is going through the delusional moments. He struggles. He is afraid he is loosing. And Pegeen (Greta Gerwig), a young profession and lesbian,  suddenly comes to his life. Her parents are old friends of Simon, and are also actors. Pacino’s acting is so convincing and strong. They establish romantic relationship, and Simon starts to feel the confidence. It is a tragic, but huge comedy. I loved the screenplay. Great acting, great imagination, and beautiful scenes! I am so glad I saw this movie.

 

 

色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年  村上春樹  文芸春秋社  1/28/15

January 28, 2015

これは、大層美しい小説だ。今回本当に思ったけれど、村上春樹の小説って、とても視覚的なんですね。何だか、映画を見ているような感じ。題名からしても、もちろんビジュアル的なんだけど、それにしても、カーテンがふんわか揺れる様子や、プールの中の水のゆらめきまで、目の前で起こってしまう。多崎つくるの日常、彼を取り巻くカラフルな人間模様、悲しみ、喜び、過去、現在、未来、不思議な空間を行ったり来たり。どっぷり村上ワールドに浸ってしまった。