From the category archives:

Cool people

I’m doing homework for Mitchell Morris’ and my new opera, FRIDA AND THE SMOKING MIRROR. The seven characters are Frida Kahlo, Tezcatlipoca [pictured above] Diego Rivera, Isamu Noguchi, Josephine Baker, Leo Eloesser (Frida’s doctor) and Leon Trotsky. I have made a rough decision on who is what range, but I wanted to see what I […]


I have been blessed in my recent collaboration with pianist, conductor Scott Dunn who will be conducting the world premiere of my opera, La Paloma y el Ruiseñor at the Teatro Angela Peralta in Mazatlán, Mexico on November 14 and 15, 2014. Having scored several feature films, I have learned the value of “cutting”——this happens […]


Biography of Ángela Peralta

September 27, 2014

Ángela Peralta (6 July 1845, Mexico City – 30 August 1883, Mazatlán) (baptised María de los Ángeles Manuela Tranquilina Cirila Efrena Peralta Castera) was an operatic soprano of international fame and a leading figure in the operatic life of 19th century Mexico. Called the “Mexican Nightingale” in Europe, she had already sung to acclaim in […]


Sometimes I’m a bit slow. Two great musicians have been pushed in front of me lately and I don’t know why I never knew them before. Silly me. Peter Kazaras has encouraged me to investigate Bellini in terms of the way he handles dialog vs. arias. On the way I fell in love with a […]


Being a smart musician

May 18, 2012

There is something to be said for a well-trained musician who shows up on time, shuts up, and performs their part perfectly. But when life gets challenging, working with a smart musician can make all the difference. One such “smart” musician saved my ass several times over the past week, and everyone involved in the […]


Bravo to Robert Aldridge

March 22, 2012

My old pal and colleague from a WAY time back, Robert Aldridge, just won a Grammy for best new composition: his opera, ELMER GANTRY. Bravo, Bob, bravo! I looked through some old photos hoping I’d find a few gems of our past and found these two. The first is our band as undergrads and UW […]


Like Rachmaninov’s signature rhythm at the end of many of his pieces, Alfred Hitchcock could not resist flitting across the screen in his own films. Roy Vanderzwaan found 37 of them and assembled them into this highly entertaining 4 minute clip. I smiled the whole time — in fact, I laughed, I thought I’d die, […]


I stumbled across a scan of the models for Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” online and have no idea where it came from, but I couldn’t resist posting and saving it here. The caption reads: On show with the late Grant Wood’s American Gothic, one of the most famed U.S. paintings of its generation, went the […]


Finding A. Reid Fitzner

February 24, 2012

Yesterday I stumbled across an ink drawing done by a classmate of mine named A. Reid Fitzner. I remember he was a cool guy, an art major I think, and we were in an anthropology survey course together in my fourth year as an undergraduate. One day, while sitting in lecture together, Reid seemed completely […]

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My father and his two sisters sent me most of their family photographs which I have been scanning and disseminating to the family and other interested friends and relatives. This weekend I dug into a large group of photos collected mostly by my paternal grandmother when she was in her teens and twenties (ca.1915-1929) and […]