This book contains 250 anecdotes about opera, including these anecdotes: 1) When Pierre Monteux started working at the Metropolitan Opera, he decided to buy a shiny Ford touring-car. He paid $300 for... More > the car, which he was proud of at first, although it looked modest when parked beside the luxurious cars of the stars of the Met. However, the car did give Mr. Monteux trouble. One day, as he was driving it, the car developed engine trouble and stopped. Mr. Monteux got out of the car, tipped his hat to it, and walked away, never to return. 2) When Canadian figure skater Toller Cranston served as a judge at a Miss USA beauty pageant, the contestant from New York told him that she loved opera. However, in conversation, he found out that she had never been to the Met and that her favorite opera was "Phantom of the Opera," so he told her, “My dear, don’t even think about going to 'La Traviata.' You would hate it.”< Less
One theme of the play is the harmful effects that prejudice can have on people. It can make someone want to cut a pound of flesh from a living person. It can make someone spit on the clothing and the... More > beard of an old person.
We can sympathize with Shylock because he is the victim of prejudice, but he also is guilty of prejudice. He hates Antonio in part because he is a Christian, although he has some other very good reasons for hating Antonio. We ought not to sympathize with Shylock when he wants Antonio to pay the penalty that is in the contract that Antonio signed.< Less
This is a retelling in prose of William Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night." In it, a pair of twins — a brother and a sister — are separated and each thinks that the other... More > dead. Of course, they end up finding each other, and they end up finding romantic partners. A major supporting character is Malvolio, who is guilty of the sin of pride. Other supporting characters are the alcoholic Sir Toby Belch and the foolish Sir Andrew Aguecheek, as well as the wise fool and jester Feste.
This retelling is in easy-to-read modern English. Readers may find it useful to read before tackling Shakespeare's early English.< Less