Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ding Dong the Diva's Dead-Cat Melodia

Ding Dong the Diva's Dead
Cat Melodia
Camel Press, Jan 30 2011, $15.97
ISBN: 9781603818070

Thirtyish opera singer Deborah de Lille is thinking of ending her career as she sees her future on stage performing as a two bit player on minor league tours. However, her agent gets the mezzo-soprano a part with the new Ville d'Aurore troupe in Idaho. The production is Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann.

In Idaho Debbie quickly joins the production in time for rehearsal. She learns she got the demanding support role of Nicklausse when the performer she replaced died in a car accident. Her role is demanding though always in a secondary role. Debbie plans to be professional on and off stage, but when she gets a second part due to a performer leaving, she becomes the victim of petty jealousies, megalomaniacal performers and sexual thrusts from both genders, while someone wants the new diva dead.

The fun in this entertaining amateur sleuth is observing the humorous goings-on behind the scenes of a local opera company as the cut throat competition is not just about roles on stage. Whereas Debbie is the star holding the tale together, the support cast is solid with a range of egomaniacal personalities at the opera house and zany (insane may be more descriptive) friends and family of the heroine. Fans will appreciate A Night At The Opera.

Harriet Klausner

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