Who Really Knew Upton Sinclair?

Noted historian and biographer Anthony Arthur certainly did. At our October General Meeting, Tony Arthur delighted his audience with a power-point presentation based on his most recent book, Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair.

While most of us are familiar with Sinclair's exposť of the meat packing industry at the turn of the 20th century, Dr. Arthur's revelations about Sinclair, the person, were illuminating. Sinclair was a prolific writer (90 books in his lifetime) and rather a controversial political figure in California. However, we learned this barely scratches the surface of what his life was about.

A lively discussion of Sinclair and his works followed the formal presentation, especially invigorated by former LA City Councilwoman Joy Picus, who grew up on Sinclair's Lanny Budd novels. The Friends presented Dr. Arthur with a complimentary membership. In turn, he presented his three most recent books to Platt Library—Literary Feuds: A Century of Celebrated Quarrels and Twelve Great Clashes That Shaped America, in addition to Radical Innocent. Then, of course, he signed books purchased by members of the audience.

Per usual, the refreshments furnished by Lynn Durbin and her volunteers were delicious. Carol Roseman's persistent and tireless efforts to publicize the event are always appreciated. And our audience deserves applause as well. We're certainly fortunate to be part of a community that provides such great support for literary programs. Mega thanks to you all!

Sue Strickland, Program Chair

LA Opera Talks
Platt Branch 07|08

7:00 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the Multipurpose Room

JANUARY 15
WAGNER'S TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

FEBRUARY 19
VERDI'S OTELLO

MARCH 18
BEHIND THE SCENES IN OPERA

APRIL 15
PUCCINI'S TOSCA

MAY 20
PUCCINI'S LA RONDINE

Left to right: Olga Sevilla, Bonnie Helms and Frona DeCovnick

Platt Branch Greets LA Opera

Introduction to Opera: “Pictures for the Ears”, the first presentation of our 7-part Opera Talks series, opened to a near capacity crowd on October 16. This delighted our host for the series, Olga Sevilla, who began the evening by introducing the current LA Opera Season and our speaker for the evening, Bonnie Helms.

Passionate about her subject, Bonnie skillfully used opera excerpts to familiarize the rapt audience with voice parts, musical elements, and vocal techniques. Most important, though, Bonnie told us, “Opera is about us and our experiences. Opera, through music, raises us to a non-verbal response, thus eliciting an emotional effect.” To reap the full benefit, you have to understand the characters as well as the conventions. This will be the focus of future discussions of operas concurrently being staged at the Music Center. In the meantime, she recommended the book, Who's Afraid of Opera, by Michael Walsh as a guide to further our appreciation.

After the presentation, Olga conducted the evening's raffle. The lucky winner was Patricia Alvarez, who departed with a “Highlights from Fidelio” CD. Olga also gave a copy of this CD to Platt's Collection.

Co-sponsored by Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles Public Library, LA Opera Talks seeks to make the magic and power of the art more accessible to the community. We most cordially invite you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity now—November 20 through May of 2008.

Frona DeCovnick, Friends Opera Talks Coordinator

Undaunted: Getty Villa at Last!

Annie Haas basks in the Getty Villa's spectacular herb garden after a strenuous bout of phone-tag.

The morning of October 6 a sizable crowd waited with happy anticipation for the bus to take us to the Getty Villa for our long-awaited tour. Alas and alack, it did not arrive. But all was not lost.

Because of the Villa staff's great cooperation, we were allowed to come by car and have parking available when we arrived. Three cars full of die-hard Friends drove over and enjoyed a lovely day: sun shining…ocean sparkling…gardens thriving…beauty surrounding. The statues of the Herculaneum Women were a sight to behold, as was the Villa itself.

To the loyal group of Friends of the Platt Library supporters who had already left or who chose not to carpool, I offer my apologies and appreciation of your good sportsmanship. We all look forward to seeing you at future events, which—of course—we hope will go more smoothly. Once again, thank you for your continued support!

Annie Haas, Tour Coordinator

February '08 Primary
Ballot Issues Review

Thursday, January 17 at 7:00 pm

Join Ellen Pangarliotas, Chair of the LA League of Women Voters Speakers Bureau, for analysis and background on the ballot initiatives accompanying the Presidential Primary Election.

2008 Entertainment Books
are available in the Platt Library Bookstore thru December 31.
Save $$$ on dining, entertainment, travel, shopping, and groceries!

 
The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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