Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Over The Summer...

I thought that I might inform my readers of what I shall do, or rather wish to be doing, over the summer because I know they are thoroughly interested (not!). Nevertheless, I am telling you anyway!

Rehearsals begin in June, but I intend to perform in Fiddler on the Roof at Poteet this summer. If I do it, this will be my fifth show in four years. I also plan to audition for a musical revue that Poteet is doing sometime after Fiddler, but I do not know if I could be cast in that; it will depend on how many guys audition for it, and I am not going to do it if all they want to give me is a chorus part because they are looking for older guys. In the productions of the regular Poteet season, I am content with a chorus part because I know that there are other, better actors and singers vying for leads and supporting roles, but since revues primarily draw teens and young adults to the auditions, I think that I deserve better than that. You may label me ungrateful, but that is just how it is. There is a relatively new theatre in town, and they are very good at casting younger people in lead roles because they are a children's/young adult's venue, so perhaps I shall audition there soon. The only factor that I do not really like is that they do straight plays over the summer! I have never known a theatre to offer a straight play over the summer; they always offer large-cast musicals because the larger cast draws in more revenue.

I shall remain studious in my areas of academic deficiency and interest. Right now I am immersing myself in the Middle Ages. I read source materials mostly, but I also read old textbooks from before World War II. My favorite one of these is entitled Medieval and Modern History, which was written shortly after World War I by one Dr. Hutton Webster. One of the features of this book that I ardently appreciate is the mostly line drawing illustrations of things discussed in the text. One of these illustrations is a simply beautiful painting of Elizabeth I, Regina Britannica, when she was a princess. It hangs, or used to hang in a castle in England, but I forget the name of it. Many other Medieval paintings grace and adorn the informative pages, and I think that this aspect of the volume adds a special contemporary feeling to the events depicted therein. Another tome to which I trust my education on this period, the Middle Ages, is Dorothy Mills' The Middle Ages. Her book is far more replete with actual contemporary accounts of the events she describes. When she comes to the Hundred Years' War, for example, she relies heavily upon The Chronicles of Froissart to relay the information relevant to our understanding of the individual battles. I immensely enjoy both of these books, and I regularly refer back to them whenever I feel like reading.

As for mathematics, a subject at which I am not particularly adept, but one which I enjoy without question, I am now concentrating on reading Euclid's The Elements of Geometry and some of Archimedes' writings. I long to read these in their Ancient Greek, but for now English translations must suffice. I am really going to read these tomes, and they are tomes in the truest senses of the word, all the way through this time, and I am going to understand them! I only wish that I had more Ancient Greek literature to read.

Speaking of Ancient Greek literature, have my readers ever wished that they might not be the continuing victims of the fire that consumed the great library at Alexandria? Works that we do not even know exist were destroyed there, and they have been erased from the minds of men forever. Besides this, recall the nine volumes of Sappho's poetry; of all of that wealth of material, we have only one complete song written by the poet known as the Tenth Muse. Is that not truly a cause of sorrow? I thought so after reading two translations of all of the fragments of her works that still exist. It is rumored that Sappho also invented the plectra, a simple thing used to pluck the strings of the lyre, but I cannot corroborate that with any other knowledge of mine.

As for opera, for I must devote something of this post to that, I would also like to attend a summer outdoor festival. I think I should skip the OK Mozart Festival since they are not offering anything opera related besides Kristen Chenoweth; however, I should like to go to Opera Theatre of St. Louis and see Kelly Kaduce perform in an opera because of the favorable reviews in Opera News that I have read of her.

Thank you for perusing my ramblings.

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