Tag Archives: alice in wonderland

Our Newest Streaming Resource Medici.TV is an Absolute Dream for Classical Music, Opera, and Ballet Fans!

29 Jan

This month, we just debuted our newest streaming resource Medici.TV for our Hoboken resident card holders.  Medici.TV is the world’s leading classical music channel, which includes over 1,800 programs (3,000 original works), including: concerts and archived historical concerts; operas; ballets; documentaries, artist portraits and educational programs; and master classes.  The New York Times has said Medici.TV is “The closest thing to a classical Netflix.”

As a working mom it feels impossible sometimes to get out to see the multitude of ballets, concerts and operas that are going on just across the river so I am particularly excited by the fact that Medici. TV has more than 100 live events are broadcast each year, in partnership with the world’s most prestigious venues, opera houses, festivals and competitions.  So if like me life is keeping you from getting into the city to see live performances, you don’t have to miss out, just tune in to Medici.TV.  If you can’t go to Carnegie Hall, have Carnegie Hall come to you!

I’ve just started exploring all the amazing things that Medici.TV has to offer.  I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so one of the first things I chose to stream was the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland.  The opera composed by Unsuk Chin and commissioned by conductor Kent Nagano, features a libretto by David Henry Hwang and Chin.

unsuk-chin-alice-in-wonderland-nationaltheater-munchen

image from Medici.TV

The opera is just as unique as Lewis Carroll’s original work and puts a fresh spin on the source material.  Despite musically referencing classical composers like Handel, Puccini, and Stravinsky it also includes unusual instruments like musical saws, accordions, and a harmonica.  This was Korean born Chin’s first opera.

Also available for Wonderland fans is Being Alice, a documentary which records Lauren Cuthbertson, who performed Alice in the Royal Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation.  Being Alice follows her as she rehearses and then performs through the season’s final performance.  I really enjoy that with Medici.TV we don’t just get to see performances, but also get insight into what goes on behind them.  If you liked the book Mozart in the Jungle, here’s your chance to get more behind the scene peaks at the actual world of classical music and dance.

Have you streamed anything on Medici.TV?  Let us know what you have enjoyed in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Imitation and Reinvention: Mad Hatters and March Hares and Kill the Farm Boy

12 Sep

Sometimes an author’s world and the words they wrote resonate so deeply that they live beyond the works themselves; there are many retellings of Alice in Wonderland and there are some especially terrific interpretations in the new collection edited by Ellen Datlow.  At other times authors may be inspired not by what stories in the past contained, but what the story leaves out. This is the case for the thoroughly modern fantasy Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson which seeks to reinvent the genre with a modern sensibility.

Mad Hatters and March Hares: All New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
edited by Ellen Datlow
MadHattersandMarchHares

Mad Hatters and March Hares is a collection of stories based on not only characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and it’s sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, but many also involve the book and the real people associated with stories like Alice Lidell since the tale of the writing of the books often seems as intriguing to readers and authors as the story itself. The story “Worrity, Worrity” by Andy Duncan takes a surrealistic look at why John Tenniel might have dissuaded Carroll from featuring a certain illustration.  Like the nonsense rhyme that filled originals, the collection begins and ends with two poems, the first of which “Gentle Alice” by Kris Dikeman is in the shape of a teacup reflecting the concrete poetry Carroll used in his own work.  Two of my favorite fantasy authors Catherynne M. Valente and Seanan McGuire have excellent stories included;  McGuire’s “Sentence Like a Saturday” was my favorite of the collection and looks at what happens when a certain Kitty enters the “real” world.  I found it interesting that on the whole the stories were dark fantasy and some in the horror genre reflecting the menace that can be seen just below the surface in the original with characters like the threatening Red Queen and Jabberwocky.  You can read about more Alice in Wonderland related books and movies in a previous blog post.

Kill The Farm Boy: The Tales Of Pell
by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson
KilltheFarmBoy
This novel, according to an authors’ note, started as a conversation between Hearne and Dawson in an airport about the need to “kill the farm boy” which they feel represents the cliche of the white young male who lives in a rural area and finds out he is the “chosen one” and goes on to be the center of many adventures. White males can be pretty awesome and many deserve hero status, my dad, husband, and son are all examples of that, but there is definitely room especially in the fantasy realm for more diversity.  This novel made me think of many fantasy novels I’ve read especially the Once and Future King with its interpretation of the Arthur legend.  The novel starts out with the typical farm boy, but he meets an unfortunate accident that keeps him unable to continue his quest and instead the main story focuses on a variety of adventurers including a dark skinned female warrior and her newly met romantic interest a bard who is herself under a spell so that she has rabbit like features.  There were some bits where Kill the Farm Boy had me laughing out loud and it was very original with some of the directions that it took the adventurers in while skewing dated cliches of typical fantasy novels of the past as well as our contemporary society.  The novel manages to be more than just a parody and I hope the fun and original characters of Pell have many more adventures in store for readers.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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