Monday, March 7, 2011

Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories

Dr. Horrible

Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories / Zach Whedon.
New York : Dark Horse, 2010
Art by Joelle Jones, Jim Rugg, Farel Dalrymple, Eric Canete.
80 p.

I have extremely ambivalent feelings about this book. On the one hand, more Dr. Horrible is always (100% of the time) better than not more Dr. Horrible. On the other... I mean it's cute and funny, but there's not a lot to it. What I always appreciated about the Whedonverse is that behind all of the humor and strangeness, there's a depth of feeling that sneaks out and stabs you. While the Dr. Horrible web series was no Buffy or Firefly, it still captured that spirit. But for a collection of preludes and backstories, I don't feel like this book illuminated any of the characters. It just provided an amusing diversion.

...which isn't to say that discredits it entirely. What it does do it does right. It's quirky and colorful and very funny. So if you like Dr. Horrible and want to pass an amusing quarter of an hour, definitely give this a read. But if you don't know the characters, this won't give you much to go on.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Night at the Opera

I've decided to set myself a goal this year. I'm an avid opera-fan, but I've never done a good job at investigating the source material for the librettos of some of my favorite pieces. I want to change that. I decided to read 5 novels that were turned into operas I like.

So I started looking around for books upon which operas have been based. Turns out, most of the pieces I know come from source material are actually from mythology or plays. So I expanded, and now it's a big goal: 5 novels, 5 plays, and 5 mythological sources (plays or poems). I think it's a good project.

Here's what I'm looking at:


  • Bride of the Lammermoors / Walter Scott (Lucia di Lammermoor / Donizetti)
  • Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District / Nikolai Leskov (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District / Shostakovich)
  • Manon Lescaut / Abbé Prévost (Manon / Massenet)
  • Eugene Onegin / Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin / Tchaikovsky)
  • Le Mariage de Loti / Pierre Loti (Lakmé / Delibes)


  • Othello / William Shakespeare (Otello / Verdi)
  • Les mamelles de Tirésias / Apollinaire (Les mamelles de Tirésias / Poulenc)
  • Le Viol de Lucrèce / André Obey (The Rape of Lucretia / Britten)
  • The Figaro Trilogy / Pierre Beaumarchais (The Barber of Seville / Rossini ; The Marriage of Figaro / Mozart ; La Mère Coupable / Milhaud ; The Ghosts of Versailles / Corigliano)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor / William Shakespeare (Falstaff / Verdi)


  • Daphnis and Chloe / Longus (Daphnis et Chloé / Offenbach)
  • Iphigenia in Tauris / Euripedes (Iphigénie en Tauride / Gluck)
  • Oedipus Rex / Sophocles (Oedipus Rex / Stravinsky)
  • Metamorphoses / Ovid (a ton of stuff)
  • Electra / Sophocles (Elektra / Strauss)

Since this exploded, I'm not looking at an end date or anything.... but hopefully I'll make a big dent in it this year. And then I can make a new list! Whee.

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