Puccini’s Chronicles STYLE: Curated by Broadway’s Newest Leading Ladies

Patti LuPone as Helena Rubinstein

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Think red palettes, pearl accented jewelry, and fashion-forward hats with an old-fashioned flair. Your inner diva is sure to shine.

Denee Benton as Natasha

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Think femininely with gossamer dresses, faux fur stoles, and wrist-length gloves. For extra credit, pair with a Tolstoy novel or cute accordion player (whatever you prefer).

Jenn Colella as Beverley Bass

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Think navy blues, aviator shades, and tennis bracelets (just because). Channel your inner pilot with a brave outlook and grace under pressure.

Phillipa Soo as Amelie

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Think checkerboards patterns, gold jewelry, and a classic bob hairstyle. Your aura of excitement and wonder draws people to you. Duck into a photo booth for some fun!

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Puccini’s Chronicles STYLE: Compact Mirror Appreciation Post

Lately, I’ve been thinking I should start actively collecting pop culture-themed compact mirrors. They are easily my favorite “purse accessory,” and they are so nice and round that they feel comfy in your hand. But only the metal-based ones; compacts in plastic casing are not on my radar. Also, on a personal note: ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by my own reflection. Back then, the kid on the other side of the looking glass was my “friend.” Now I literally cannot walk past a mirror without looking into it. It’s become almost reflexive. I will be chatting with someone in the dining room, but instead of making eye contact with them, I’ll be watching my expressions in the mirror. I really have no logical explanation as to why I do this.

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If we return to the compact mirror topic, there is another layer of oddity for me. At times, I take such pride in how pretty a compact is that I don’t want to use it. Like my hands need to be clean, to prevent smudges on the metal. That’s true for most things I collect, though; they must be pristine and handled with care!

The very first “fancy” compact mirror I ever owned was a gold one with the Ruby Slippers. A few of its rhinestones have fallen out over the years, but it’s still a very nice piece. I think my grandmother purchased it back when the Staten Island Mall had a Warner Bros. Store. Lord, how I miss that place. But now, the Disney emporium has some lovelies in its arsenal- pictured above is a Belle compact from Sephora. And my favorite (that I actually own) is the Disney Store’s live-action Cinderella release. It has a butterfly pattern surrounding the focal point: a shoe.

That said, I wonder if any Broadway merchandise stands sell compact mirrors? I’d kill for one with a show logo on it.

Spotlight: Summer Gift Guide for the Music Lover

Happy Friday, dilettantes! This week, I’m taking a cue from Disney’s blogs and presenting you with a little spread of all the things you’ll need to show off your artistic side at the beach. From a good summer read to a sophisticated way to accessorize, if you’re looking to bust out all over like June- look no further!

For something to cuddle with on a stormy summer night, we love this MOZART LITTLE THINKER plush from the Unemployed Philosophers’ Guild. He even plays the melody of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik!

If you need to kill time in your hotel room, try playing gin rummy with these STARS OF THE OPERA PLAYING CARDS. I’m glad Diana Damrau and Sondra Radvonofsky (two of my favorite sopranos) are included!

For some “musique tres elegante” at Sunday brunch, you’ll want the FASCINATING GERSHWIN album. It features all of the brothers’ biggest hits, sung by the greats. (Note: Not available for purchase online.)

Planning your summer reading list will be easy with Puccini Without Excuses, an analytical send-up of our namesake composer, written by William Berger. But it’s jam-packed with information!

Finally, for that perfect nautical accessory, we recommend the PIRATE’S LIFE jewelry from Opera Bracelets. Inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, it calls to mind oceans and operettas.

It’s NATIONAL OPERA WEEK!

My pal Cindy over at Opera Bracelets (which I spotlighted a while back) informed me of something remarkable- that this week coming up is National Opera Week! To celebrate, she’s selling her beautiful bracelets at a 15% discount when you use the code OperaWeek14. So you may want to check that out.

The one-person Puccini’s Chronicles team is naturally also going to celebrate National Opera Week. We’ll close out our October theme of opera-comique, but I’ll also be writing some extra articles on various classical music-related topics for all of you. As always, I’m accepting submissions of your own musical discourses as well. My email is faithjacobsen@gmail.com and you’re not limited to opera; as you may have noticed, Puccini’s Chronicles wants to nourish ALL forms of performing arts. (As long as they’re not in poor taste…but I suppose that’s a debate for another day altogether.)

So let’s relax, make some Earl Grey tea, buy some bracelets, and pop in our favorite Tosca recording as dilettantes everywhere rejoice. Xo

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Spotlight: Opera Bracelets!

Hey there, everyone! So I recently made a wonderful discovery on the World Wide Web this week…a brilliant, innovative new way to tell the story of history’s finest operas…the Opera Bracelets company! This Rochester based business, independently owned by a husband and wife, sells unique handmade bracelets that use charms and beads to symbolize elements of operas from Die Zauberflote to La traviata. (My personal favorite is the Madama Butterfly story bracelet…

It has a wedding ring for Kate, an American flag for Pinkerton, and a Japanese fan for Cio Cio San. As for the dagger and blood-red teardrop beads at the top, well- I don’t think I need to tell you what they represent.

I think this enterprise is truly remarkable and a wonderfully creative way to show your appreciation for opera and the arts in general. Even if opera’s not your cup of tea, the bracelets themselves (ranging in price from $44 to $88) are simply gorgeous pieces of jewelry and would look excellent on your wrist…or a friend’s! So visit http://www.operabracelets.com to browse the shop and add some sparkle to your life. (Note: I am not affiliated with the company.)

The Aida bracelet.