Big time composer Rachel Portman from England is mostly known for her film scores. She received an Academy Award for Emma in 1996. She contributed musical scores to The Manchurian Candidate, Mona Lisa Smile, The Legend of Bagger Vance, to name only a few of her Hollywood credits.

And now – right now, through November 20 at the New York City Opera, her opera based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is being performed, in a production directed by Francesca Zambello. That is a not to miss, as Portman is the is the only female composer represented this season at NYCO – and one is more than most.

Recently the ACO performed an adventurous orchestral piece by Eve Beglarian. Tod Machover just had a premiere in Kalamazoo, so I am not too embarrassed to say my own orchestral premiere will take place at SUNY-Fredonia on November 30, up in the cold Buffalo area, with a piece called Strange Attractors (the title reflects my teeming interest in chaos theory, as befits the kind of times I’ve had this year, but coincidentally, just yesterday, I found a science fiction novel with the same title), and then I’ll be off to Boston to see some new faces.

And as far as Thanksgiving, a happy one to you all, but for me it’s thanks but no thanks. How do I hate the holidays! They act as a painful reminder of the tyranny of the dollar. Notably, Major Bloomberg intervened in resolving the dispute between Radio City and their orchestra (they had to use tape for the last couple of weeks) and now the schlockmeisters can shine – actually, there is one touring orchestra for Eastern Europe that creatively combines a kind of Boston Pops set up with some live electric guitar, with guitarists sporting long hair and tuxedos. I dread to hear the material, though. Do I sound cranky? I have had a horrific year -with the exception of the freedom I enjoy in this blog space. Thank you, heartfully, Sequenza21!

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