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DON JUAN IN HANKEY,PA: Surprise Blog Tour Visit!

The characters of DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA are milling around backstage in the Hankey Opera House. Vivian is dusting the green room. Oriane, who is eight months pregnant, is waddling down the hall. Leandro Vasquez is reading about himself in the Sound Bites pages of Opera News. Arnaud is trying on women’s clothes in the costume shop.

Knobby (general manager of the Hankey Opera Company, via the intercom): All right. Everybody on stage. Let’s go.

Characters are mumbling things like, "Now what does he want?" "Still barking out orders, is he?" "The book’s over, you numbskull."

Knobby: Are we all here? Okay, pipe down people. A sprightly young soprano, Julia Katherine Walsh, who very much enjoyed the book, would like to ask you all a question—the same question. Here’s what she wants to know. What would have happened to our production of Don Giovanni if you had not been a part of putting it together? Anybody want to start?

Characters grow silent, pensive.

Oriane (hometown opera singer made good): I’ll start. I want to get this over with so I can go home and put my feet up, Carter. Without me and my awesome network of professional contacts there would have been no Leandro.

Deanna (Type A former chair of the opera guild): No Leandro without you? Tell you what. I’ll forward you the bills for my essential eye treatments, purifying facials, and psychotherapy. My body is still recovering.

Leandro (strapping Argentine baritone): Why you a—body need—recover a me? I be—body butter.

Deanna: You’re body butter? More like Nutter Butter.

Leandro: What a this—Nutter Butter?

Oriane: Do they have Nutter Butters in the Chaco, Leandro?

Deanna: Big strapping megalomaniacal Nutter Butters who croon to their lonely cattle.

Vivian (the fragile ketchup heiress): Deanna, your aura is bright red. Feel your pain, but then let it go. Don’t mind her, Leandro. She is oozing hostility. As for me, I had nothing to do with the show’s success or failure. I had no impact whatsoever.

Richard (retired dermatologist): Vivian, you can’t mean that. We both were vitally important to its success. We supported Knobby unconditionally, for one thing.

Knobby: You’ve got to be kidding, Richard. How about the time when you took my head off because I didn’t hand the part to—

Jeannie (society matron): I, of course, provided an abundant source of real-life inspiration for the woman singing Elvira.

Arnaud (balloon entrepreneur and clairaudient): Shut up. All of you. You are spoiling the plot for people who have not yet read the book. And if they do not read it, how will Arnaud become famous worldwide?

Oriane: Not many of us can talk to dead people, Arnaud. That’s a claim to fame.

Arnaud: Now that you mention it, that makes Arnaud pretty special.

Leandro: There you a—rata—un poco! I ought a—pinch a huevos. Plunk, plunk. VoilĂ !
You tenor.

Knobby: Okay, everyone, vamoose. Am-scray. Sorry, Julia—that’s about as long as I can keep this crew civil in one room together. You had one other question?

Everyone hurries out. Leandro is chasing after Arnaud with a cattle prod. Jeannie is chasing after Leandro, also wielding a cattle prod.

Julia: Yes, yes I did. Is there going to be a sequel?

Knobby (whispers): I have it on good authority that a sequel is in the works. But keep that under wraps. Leandro’s not in the new book, and I don’t want him pinching off my huevos either.

Julia: Will the new book be based on an opera, too?

Knobby: Yes, I suppose so. We are all supposed to read synopses of Manon Lescaut in preparation for a brainstorming session during Chinese New Year next week. It’s the Year of the Dragon.

Julia: Interesting. Is Oriane going to sing Manon?

Knobby: I refuse to answer that on the grounds that I might incriminate myself.


  1. Note: If you enjoyed reading the above, then you will certainly enjoy reading the book more than you can imagine! Therefore, if you've not already purchased it, I'd suggest that you get a move on- although it's also available in Kindle format, it's not going to stay on the shelves forever, people! :) You can click on this link

    to go directly to and purchase the book which Gale Martin has so lovingly and wonderfully crafted for those of us musical people who love opera, its plots, its intrigues and its insane characters!


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