If you’re like me, you’re busy busy busy. I love to visit blogs, but it seems I never have time to get by in a timely fashion…and never in time to win anything! Well, no worries about that here. The Historical Reader Salon will be open all month long and you can come by anytime during the month to join the conversation and enter to win! No rush, no hurry…just a nice relaxing visit (or three) at your leisure. Each month, I’ll throw out a topic for discussion as well as ways for you to win. We’ll keep the conversation going in the comments section and just see how our Reader Salon grows. Hopefully it will develop into a thriving community centered around what we all love—historical romance!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 8: How To Distract a Duchess by Mia Marlowe!


 
Welcome to day eight of March SWEET Madness—a month long party to celebrate the upcoming release of my novel, SWEET MADNESS, available April 2, 2013.

 

Today you are in for a treat! Not only is it Friday (yay!) but our featured author is a lovely woman who had one of the most interesting backgrounds before becoming an author: she was a classically trained soprano who won her District Metropolitan Opera auditions and has shared a stage with Placido Domingo. How cool is that??? (Wonder if we can get her to sing for us…I can embed an mp3, right?)
 
Mia as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (isn't that AWESOME!?!?)
 

 

Once again, it was tough to decide which of Mia Marlowe’s wonderful books to showcase, but in the end I went with the first in her How To series, HOW TO DISTRACT A DUCHESS. (I considered featuring How to Vex a Viscount, because…well, I love the word “vex”, but it was the third in the series and I knew that might drive some of you crazy!)

 

This giveaway will be in e-book format only, as it is one of Mia’s self-published works. She belongs to a fabulous group of traditionally pubbed authors who also self-published some of their works. If you haven’t checked out the ladies of Rock It Reads yet, you can HERE.

 

Now, back to Mia’s book! Here is what it is about:

 

Artemisia Dalrymple Pelham-Smythe doesn’t give two figs for the ton’s opinions on propriety. She wants to be taken seriously as an artist, so the widowed Duchess of Southwycke is painting the entire Roman pantheon in glorious nudes. The man who arrived to pose for her is far too muscular and virile to fit her vision of a cherubic Cupid, so she’ll simply turn him into Mars.

Trevelyn Deveridge never expected to pose naked to serve Queen and country, but the trail of the elusive Mr. Beddington leads right to the door of the duchess. Unless Trev retrieves Beddington’s key, a whole string of operatives in India are in danger of discovery. Since he’s convinced Her Grace can point him in the right direction, he's left with little choice but to play along with her artistic endeavors.

Besides, when a lady asks a gentleman to disrobe, how can he refuse?

 


 

And now for the fun part—your chance to win! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Contest will be open for 2 weeks. As this is an e-book only prize, I am happy to open it INTERNATIONALLY.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

If you don’t win (or just can’t wait to start reading!), here’s where you can get the book!


 

And to find out more about Mia, you can visit her website at:


I am also giving away a copy of either my debut, SWEET ENEMY or SWEET DECEPTION (winner’s choice) EVERY DAY of March SWEET Madness! (you will need to enter this contest separately every day for a new chance to win! OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

Sweet Enemy

Beakers and ball gowns don't mix, so when lady chemist, Miss Liliana Claremont, goes undercover as a husband-hunter to investigate Lord Geoffrey Wentworth, the earl whose family she suspects murdered her father, romance isn't part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...

Read the Prologue and First Chapter HERE...

Sweet Deception
 

Lady criminologist, Miss Emma Wallingford, unknowingly finds herself tangled up in the dangerous final mission of Lord Derick Aveline, a spy who also happens to be her long-lost first love. But when deception, however sweet, is the name of the game, no one can be trusted. And every love--and every life--is at risk.

Read the First Chapter HERE.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget SWEET MADNESS, coming April 2, 2013!

 

There’s a fine line between love and insanity…

Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door.

Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him.

Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost.

Read the Prologue and First Chapter HERE...

"In this emotional, compassionate romance...the powerful love story will sweep readers away."
~RT BookReviews, 4 1/2 stars

“The brilliance of Sweet Madness shines strongly and completely. Heather Snow is cutting edge…a master storyteller. Sweet Madness is a magnificent story.”
~Book Obsessed Chicks 5 stars

 

See you tomorrow, where our featured author is Michelle Marcos!!!

 

And don’t forget, giveaways are open for TWO weeks, so if you’ve missed any of the fabulous authors featured, visit the archives section and enter!

98 comments:

  1. Okay, don't judge too harshly, but I've never actually seen an opera. I wouldn't mind seeing one day though, and I have some friends that absolutely love Phantom of the Opera.

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    1. I didn't go to my first opera till I was in college, but I was instantly captivated. The gorgeous costumes, the passionate stories and most of all, the incredible voices! I had no idea human beings could make sounds like that. I knew then, I had to learn to do it too.

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    2. Like Mia, it wasn't something I'd ever seen until college (went to high school in a very small town...didn't even know there were such things as musicals, much less opera!). Fell in love with it. I'm always amazed at the beauty human being are capable of creating!

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  2. Sorry to say, I don't really like Opera, unless it is Marc Hervieux from Quebec but known internationally.

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    1. That's ok, Nicole. I always say it's a good thing we don't all like the same thing. Otherwise you'd all be after my husband!

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  3. (These rafflecopters always trip me up!) I have to admit I do not like opera per se, but I do have some favorite arias (O Mio Babbino Caro, Nessun Dorma for example). But I just love Mia's stories and writing!

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    1. Aw, aren't you sweet, Maria! Thanks for those kind words about my work.

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    2. Oh, Nessun Dorma! So lovely. I'm also a huge fan of Time to Say Goodbye...

      And of Mia Marlowe!

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  4. The only opera I listen to is from Jackie Evancho.

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    1. That little girl has an amazing set of pipes.

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    2. I've never listened to her. Must google...

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  5. Thanks for a fun post and congrats to Mia on her success :) Haven't really seen an opera. I'm a heathen I know :)

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    1. Heathen!!!!! ;) Thanks for stopping by, Erin

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    2. If you've ever seen an old Mighty Mouse cartoon or Bugs Bunny's Kill the Wabbit, you've seen a sort of opera!

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  6. I used to buy half-priced tickets when I was a student to hear/see opera. :) I didn't have a favorite. I just love the songs and the singing.

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    1. That was one of the best things about being a student, wasn't it? I miss the discounts...

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    2. I stood to hear Renata Scotto sing in San Francisco once. It was the only ticket I could afford.

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  7. I love music, and in many different genres, too. I like pop, rock, opera, easy listening, orchestra, oldies, showtunes, country, and even a little bit of rap.

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    1. Cheryl, you sound just like me. I have ecclectic tastes and my CD collection is quite crazy. I love it all, though :)

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    2. I'm with you, Cheryl. I enjoy just about anything so long as it's well done. However, I did hear an unfortunate fusion of Hip Hop and Blue Grass on NPR the other day. Oh, my ears!

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  8. I love opera. I would love to see an opera live. My favorite album is Maria Callas singing Puccini. Who can resist some Wagner blasting out of the helicopter. And when they sang opera on Gilligan's Island, (from Carmen), it was awesome.

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    1. I do not remember the Gilligan's Island opera. Pity.

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  9. I really enjoy musicals. As far as opera, singer Renee Fleming graduated from a nearby school of music.

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  10. I love music! I've been to one opera - I need to try some more. There are some aria's that are wonderful and they can make me cry.

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    1. People who've never seen an opera don't realize the depth of passion in the music and the stories. It's like watching emotional tightropes.

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    2. Just the fact that the human voice is capable of such beauty is awe-inspiring!

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  11. I love music...listening and singing :)

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    1. Music moves me. I always have a CD going while I write, but it has to be instrumental music only. Lyrics pull me away from my story too much.

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    2. I am the same, Mia...I use movie soundtracks a lot. Sometimes classical, but many times I can select a movie with a similar emotional mood as I'm trying to write about and voila...instant mood music. Film composers are genius, in my opinion.

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  12. I've never really listened to opera, but I LOVE musicals.

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    1. Me too, Michele. The DH and I got to see LES MISERABLES in London a few years ago in a beautiful little jewel of a Victorian theatre. It was magic.

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    2. I, too, am a huge musical fan. I've seen them in New York and London, but luckily we get some great companies that travel through the midwest, as well, so there really isn't one I've wanted to see that I haven't had the opportunity too! Even took the Heir, 4, to his first when Lion King came through. He loved it! And I caught him singing Les Mis the other day while playing! (It's been on in the house a lot lately) Good boy...

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  13. I've not ever been to an opera, but would love to go to at least one--to get the full experience. I loved the Three Tenors when they sang together! I haven't seen any modern musicals that I've liked...but I used to watch and really enjoyed all the Rogers & Hammerstein musicals of the 1960's-70's.

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    1. The DH and I went to see South Pacific last year. It was fun to hum along. There truly is Nothing LIke a Dame!

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    2. My husband likes opera much better when they have the translation on screen...usually a small one above or below the stage. I, however, am just as happy inferring meaning from the synopsis and the acting

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  14. The only opera that I have seen live on stage is Madame Butterfly. It was interesting to say the least. Thanks for giveaway.

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    1. Butterfly is heartbreaking and beautiful. She's so sure he'll come back for her.

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    2. You know, that is one I have not seen :( It seems whenever it comes through, I can't go. I've seen it on video, of course, but it's just not the same

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  15. My favorite Rogers & Hammerstein musicals were The King and I and the Sound of Music. I like a musical to have a balance equally of story and music...not just music. That's one reason why I haven't gone to see Les Miserables yet...I've heard there's no speech...just singing all the time.

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    1. The thing about recitative (which is what they call 'sung dialogue') is that you just have to suspend disbelief and imagine that this is normal. Believe me, the story doesn't suffer a bit.

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    2. You may give it a try, Janice. It's really very moving and the acting is so superb, you hardly notice. If you do watch it, I'll be interested to see what you think.

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  16. Sadly, I would have to say Wicked since that is the only musical I have ever seen... But I loved it!!!

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    1. Haven't seen Wicked, but have heard good things about it.

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    2. I LOVED Wicked! I wasn't sure what to expect, so it was a fun surprise. I enjoyed it so much, I found out when it was coming through a neighboring city and made a girl's weekend and took my mom--fun since we used to watch Wizard of Oz every year when it would come on network television in March...back before you could access anything you wanted to watch any time you wanted to watch it! It was an event.

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  17. I truly enjoy opera -- not every day of the week, but in smaller doses. Our local concert series used to bring an opera each year, but I am sad to say that they quit doing that. Happily, one movie theater offers the series from the Metropolitan. Lovely!

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    1. The DH and I went to the movie theatre to see Mozart's Magic Flute last year streaming live from the Met. Unfortunately, they lost the feed for about 15 minutes so it was a bit of a disappointment.

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    2. We don't have a theatre that does the Met stream. I wish we did!

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  18. I like opera, but have never seen it live. We saw a video of La Boheme in music class.

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    1. La Boheme is one of my favorites, probably because I've performed both Musetta and Mimi. Love Puccini!

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  19. Rafflecopter baffles me, so I'll just comment and tweet.

    I had no idea Mia had been a opera singer. How fun!

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    1. It's been a few years since I sang professionally. Now I sing with community groups and at church, but I still love it!

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Ella and for tweeting :) I'm still learning rafflecopter myself, but for an event of this scale, I'm finding it really helpful to keep track of everything!

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  20. About the only opera I know is from the Marriage of Figaro that was played as a recording in the movie Shawshank Redemption?

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    1. Ah, yes, the Letter Duet! The Countess and her maid are composing a letter to catch the countess's husband in the act of seducing the maid. The countess takes her maid's place and the man discovers he's been happily romancing his own wife.

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    2. "I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it."

      That is one of the more poignant parts of that movie...love it.

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  21. I do actually :) Giacomo Puccini's Turandot is one I love listening to :)(Has that famous song, Nessun Dorma in it)

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    1. Nessun Dorma is a show stopper. Did you know that Puccini died before he finished Turandot and one of his students had to complete the work?

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  22. I like musicals, and operas only if I can understand and get into the story.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. It's easier to get into if it's in your own language.

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    2. Marcy, sometimes the company performing the opera has a translation screen that runs unobtrusively somewhere on the stage. My husband prefers to see opera this way.

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  23. I don't think I've ever actually heard a legitimate opera. I've heard snippets in movies and shows but that's the extent of my opera knowledge. From what I heard I think I wouldn't like it. I don't like really loud things. I'm sure it's a really beautiful experience if you do enjoy it, though.

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    1. I've never heard an opera that was louder than the booming rap from a neighboring vehicle on the morning commute. How many times have I wished I had the nerve to crank up some Wagner and blast them out of the lane!

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    2. Oh, Mia! You TOTALLY should!!!

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  24. I have never been to an actual opera. I think that my favorite is The Phantom of the Opera. I would love to see that.

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    1. The DH and I took the train to NYC a couple years ago to see the Phantom. The music is amazing, but my DH doesn't understand the story. That's because it's about female sexuality and the allure of the bad boy.

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    2. I've seen Phantom more times than I can count. My favorite, however, was in London. It was in an early 19th century theatre and the seats were uncomfortable for my husband's long legs so we asked if he could sit in a chair along an aisle for the second act. He couldn't, due to fire regulations, so we were going to leave--we'd seen it several times. Instead, they put us in one of the balconies on the stage so we virtually watched it from the stage! So cool...freaked the actors out a little, though!

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  25. I like musicals like the phantom of the opera.

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    1. Lloyd Webber is hard to beat!

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    2. I even enjoyed the movie version...though Gerard Butler couldn't quite pull off the voice, he was verrrrrrry sexy

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  26. I have never been to an opera or a musical, but I love 60's and 70's music.

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    1. You need to go see HAIR then! You'd love it.

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  27. Not opera, so much, though I do like some of the songs. I love musicals, however. I've got lots of favorites, such as Brigadoon, The Sound of Music, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and The Music Man.

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    1. We did Brigadoon when I was in high school and it was such fun seeing the football players, who served as extras, in kilts. Unfortunately no one told them how to bend over to pick up the body of Harry Beaton and two linebackers mooned the audience on opening night!

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  28. I've never actually seen an opera, unfortunately. I almost got to go once, but got called into work last minute. I like musicals though, especially Chicago and The Sound of Music

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    1. Musicals, like jazz, are American contributions to the world of music. Love to celebrate our art forms.

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  29. Haven't seen one but I'd love to one day. :D

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    1. It's worth a try just to see if you enjoy it!

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  30. The only exposure I've had to opera is hearing the Three Tenors sing and bits and pieces of operatic singing here and there. That's all been wonderful to hear, but I've never had experience an actual opera.

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    1. Before you go, read up on the story so you'll know what's happening if it's being performed in another language.

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  31. I love all forms of music. My favorite is the rock classics of the 60s and 70s though.

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  32. I've never attended an opera before - aren't they always in a foreign language? But I love musicals; The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera just to name a few. I love all the Disney cartoons cos of all the wonderful songs.

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    1. They aren't always in another language. I performed a number of operas in English translation. It's harder for the singers because the music is designed for the other text, but much more accessible for the audience.

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  33. I've never seen an opera...but I think it's very cool that Mia's an opera singer!

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    1. Was an opera singer. To maintain that level, I'd need to sing for many hours a day which would leave no time to write at all!

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  34. Hi Heather and Mia -

    I know I'm late posting but I just had to find out more about Mia's How to Distract a Duchess!

    I hope that Mia doesn't get angry but opera isn't exactly my style! I may have grown up in New York but when I went to college in Arizona a became a country western fan! May in the 1960's country western was a lot different than it is now but I still enjoy listening to it in the car when I'm driving to work each morning.

    Living in New England it takes me back to the warmth and the friendly people that graced me with their friendship and took be to hear country western music for the very first time!

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    1. No anger here. Everyone likes different things. When I was growing up the only opera I ever heard was the "Grand Ol' Opry." My parents are still country western fans and I suppose I rebelled against that with my love of actual Grand Opera. LOL!

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  35. I love symphonies, but opera tends to be too "screetchy" for my tastes. But I did love Phantom of the Opera.

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    1. I'll admit sopranos can get shrill. (I can say that since I am one!)

      Oh, I just saw that in DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 4, Kiri Te Kanawa (a fab soprano from New Zealand) is going to be a guest star on one of the episodes. She is definitely not screechy.

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  36. I've never been to an opera, although I really want to. But I am an absolutely HUGE Phantom of the Opera fan!!! Hopefully I'll be seeing it very soon for my 21st in London!

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  37. Not too much of a fan of Opera although I do enjoy some musical plays. :)

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  38. I enjoy musicals, really loved Phantom of the Opera <3 excellent play

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