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Found the BLO program book from Madama Butterfly nesting in a pile of clothes. You can see the fabulous costuming and stage setting on their Web page. Perusing the bios, I corroborated that my ear did, in fact, pick up that the unevenness of the voices, probably because this was the debut performance of many of the cast. It in no way detracted from the wonderful work of Kelly Kaduce as Cio-Cio San or Honduran mezzo Melina Pineda as Suzuki.

Or the wonderful costumes and sets. The stage director, the venerable Sir Colin Graham, chose the sewamoto, or domestic mode of Kabuki theater, which yields more natural, as well as stylistic movement. Also learned that the Chorus Master, indeed masterful in preparing the difficult choral sections, is also director of choral activities at MIT and on the conducting faculty at the Boston Conservatory. No wonder the "Humming Chorus" was impeccable...

I took a hiatus from singing after AVAE's Oct. 29 performance, and I'm really looking forward to rehearsals beginning next week for our March performance of contemporary American composers and music. Listened to a lot of music over the holidays, and was asked to sing something at a colleague's home, which threw me a bit, since I was a little rusty. Plus most of my singing is in an inner part in languages other than English...I did hasten to reassure the guests that they were in no way to judge AVAE by my singing that day--by concert time, we will all be well-prepared.