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Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger Paperback – April 1, 2013
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The problem is that his book is way too short - ridiculously so. He's living at home with his mother one minute and has a great career, a wife and an adorable kid the next, and there's not much background, explanation, etc. And then it ends. So while brevity may be the soul of wit, sometimes it (like most virtues) can be taken to extremes, and this is one of those time when it is.
Between three stars for being too short and five for being so much fun, I'll average out at four stars. Not bad for a redneck opera zinger.
This is a collection of random vignettes from Jay Hunter Morris' life, in no particular temporal order. In most of them, opera is only peripheral to the story or not a part of it at all. Although there are delightful little tidbits for opera fans like discovering, at the very end of his fishing story, that one of his buddies in the misadventure was Bryn Terfel.
Not only is Jay Hunter Morris a brilliant tenor, he's a charming and self-deprecating humorist who hates hippies and loves John Lithgow. Actually the story about John Lithgow is alone worth the price of the book.
Henry David Thoreau once said never to trust someone who did not love the place where that person grew up. Morris evokes East Texas as a landscape worthy of the surreal comedy of Cervantes. He still has a country accent during interviews held backstage after Wagner's German. Whether in the patois of Paris, Texas, or in the words corresponding to the emotions of Nordic myth, Morris is authentic. The tones as well as his acting contain revelations of a kingdom of an aesthetic soul who dwells far beyond national or regional boundaries.
Reading this wonderfully humorous book, dispelled my conjured myths and proved that his beautiful mastery of this role was due to hard work and a determined mind.