Baritone doesn't soften things in book about life
By Mark Kanny
Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
A good title is no guarantee of a good book, but Charles Long's “Adventures in the Scream Trade” is an uncommonly candid and opinionated account of his life as a starring operatic baritone.
The Butler native is home in Pittsburgh this week for book signings at two Barnes & Noble stores, one of which just happens to be near his mom's house.
Long's book went through many revisions during the 17 years he worked on it. The title was inspired by William Goldman's “Adventures in the Screen Trade.”
“What a lot of people don't realize, and people still ask me about it, is that opera singers have no mics, no amplification,” he says. “It is astonishing to some people that you're standing in a 3,200- or 4,000-seat house and have to sing over (a full orchestra). You are essentially singing at the top of your volume all night long, except when you tone it down, which is a minority of time. ... Opera is not subtle. It's a big, bold art form, and it requires volume.”
The individuality of Long's thought even extends to his glossary. But then, the book is clear that he's never been a shrinking violet.
“Something in me made me realize very early on that my observations were really the only essential ones,” he says. “I don't know what it came from. My parents were both very strong individuals. Perhaps it was that I became comfortable holding my opinions as long as I had them thought out. But when I have a thought about something, I would write it down. Once I had written it, it was mine. I always had this literary desire to get my thoughts on the page.”
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Youngster falls over hillside in Churchill
- Cranberry’s Community Chest hopes yearly project will boost VFDs across county
- Outdoor notices: April 19
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- International Baccalaureate classes coming to Seneca Valley
- Pitt QB Savage turns down NYC invite to NFL Draft
- ‘Roosevelt’s Beast’ provides diverting expedition
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Easter sermons in Butler County offer messages of hope, love