In his latest Decca DVD release, bel canto star Juan Diego Flórez undertakes the role of Elvino in Bellini’s romantic drama, playing opposite the mercurial French soprano, Natalie Dessay, in the Met’s striking, modern-dress production from March 2009. Bellini’s romantic opera La Sonnambula (1831), hinges on the love and misunderstanding between Elvino and Amina (the ‘sleepwalker’ of the title). Discovered in the bedroom of Rodolfo, Amina is assumed to have been unfaithful, and Elvino cancels their wedding. But in the dramatic final scene, he witnesses Amina sleepwalking, understands her innocence, and all ends happily. Mary Zimmerman’s production plays with the dual realities of a rehearsal of the opera and a performance of the opera itself.
Aeon Zen are a progressive rock/metal band formed in 2008, led by the only permanent member, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboard player and drummer Rich Hinks.
The music of Aeon Zen naturally points out to the music of Ayreon, Danielle Liverani’s Genius and even Avantasia. The similarities are probably caused by the fact that these ‘bands’ are the brainchild of one very gifted multi-instrumentalist, using the vocal skills of some of the most talented vocalists in the genre. The combination of Rich Hinks’ great compositions and the diversity of these vocalists, make this an album that easily can compete with the aforementioned artists, or better: it exceeds some of the albums made by those well-known names…
Like Memphis, Tennessee, Atlanta was a staging post for itinerant musicians and like Memphis, it was home to an impressive number of guitarists who established a very distinctive style of playing that became synonymous with the city. It was also the location for the first country blues artist, Ed Andrews, to be recorded. Three years later, Julius Daniels was the first Carolina bluesman to record. Atlanta was also a recording centre for out-of-state artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bo Carter, the Memphis Jug Band, Blind Willie Johnson and Hambone Willie Newbern. A further school of blues gathered around Peg Leg Howell and Eddie Anthony.