Richard Buckley, Austin Lyric Opera's new artistic director, has been in the rainy Northwest of late, helping the Seattle Opera mount its production of Mourning Becomes Electra, Marvin David Levy's operatic adaptation of the Eugene O'Neill tragedy. It's something of a homecoming for Buckley, as he began his career in Seattle almost 30 years ago, working as an assistant conductor and an administrator at Seattle Opera then later doing the same for the Seattle Symphony. Buckley has conducted the opera previously in Chicago, and his experience seems to have served him well in the pit. Following last weekend's premiere, The Seattle Times music critic Melinda Bargreen penned an effusive review of the show, with this to say about Buckley's contribution: "Richard Buckley's powerful and vital conducting propels the action relentlessly forward, pacing the action, and stepping back in the eerie, haunting sections of the score to let the atmosphere take over. This show's success is in large part due to Buckley's outstanding work with the orchestra."
Get well wishes to Beehive diva Judy Arnold, who's recuperating from emergency surgery. Arnold began experiencing serious stomach pains while performing on Saturday, and the problem worsened on Sunday, so she checked into Brackenridge Hospital, where doctors discovered a complication from gall bladder surgery two years ago. An operation on Monday is expected to correct the problem, with a prognosis for Arnold's speedy release and full recovery -- although that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be shakin' her Tina Turner fringe for the show's closing weekend this week.
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