The Met Live in HD is presenting Diana Damrau as La Traviata in January. (Submitted)

VIDEO: New novel to enjoy, a delightful way to get more exercise, and 2 operas to blow away the cobwebs: it’s January!

Who cares if it’s still dark, windy, wet, and cold outside? Entertainment is where you find it

At this time of year, curling up in front of the fire with a new book is a great way to spend a day.

I can start off your new year with news about a new novel. It’s a Musgrave Landing Mystery from Yvonne Rediger and BWL Publishing, called Death and Cupcakes.

The author has prepared locally for her story.

“I want to thank Sgt. Colin Douglas, his boss, and the other Duncan RCMP members from ‘Coffee with a Cop’ at the Fish Bowl Cafe,” Rediger said last week. “The officers were all so generous with answering my many, many questions with regard to their jobs and giving me a tour of their official vehicle.”

Death and Cupcakes is now on sale on all ebook platforms and print. Check it out at http://blackyvy50.wixsite.com/yvonnerediger/home

Here are some hints about the story:

Jane Westcott has come home to the village of Musgrave Landing where nothing will be the same again. She has inherited her aunt’s cafe and a good thing it is, too. Her personal finances are in a shambles. Jane must make a go of the business and leave her past in Vancouver behind. She plans to run the small cafe by the ferry wharf and bake to her heart’s content until her sister receives a letter from their dead aunt, which alludes to finding a key. But where is Jane’s letter? On top of this, the mayor has gone missing and an old flame, Jack Birch, comes back into her life. The trouble is, the mayor gets himself murdered, and Jack finds the body with the help of Vimy, a former K-9 from the RCMP. Jack also finds a letter on the body addressed to Jane, and he is worried she was somehow involved with the village’s philandering mayor, Tim Stanhope. As the investigation unfolds, it turns out that money has gone missing from the village accounts and an old friend of Jane’s, Dirk Ipkiss, might be involved. Then there’s the fact that Jack found the murder weapon, and it belongs to Jane.

***

For music fans who want to do more than vegetate on the sofa, The Met Opera is back twice in early January at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

First up, fans can enjoy Verdi’s tuneful tragedy La Traviata starting at 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5. Secondly, Adriana Lecouvreur hits the big screen at 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12.

La Traviata tells the tale of the courtesan, Violetta, and her arias are beloved by sopranos everywhere, and features Diana Damrau in the leading role, Juan Diego Flórez returns to the Met for the first time since 2015 to sing the role of Alfredo, with new music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, giving the orchestra their marching orders.

Adriana Lecouvreur follows the real life story of a famous actress and her soldier lover. Opera fans can look forward to hearing reigning diva Anna Netrebko as Adriana and Piotr Beczala as her lover. Both these performances are an excellent reason for getting out of bed early.

***

Jim Wisnia, who I saw in the ukulele orchestra at Cobble Hill before Christmas, sent a northbound note on the prevailing wind that has just landed on my desk.

Apparently he is not only a musician, and a history buff, he is also interested in dancing, and thinks you should be, too.

“We in the Cowichan Valley International Folkdancers are not trying to compete! As we told the crowd at the Intercultural Society’s winter celebration, we are a participation group, not a performing group.”

Apparently, about 50 audience members at that event joined the circle and “were all smiles as we led them in seven dances from around the world,” he continued. “Because we have just changed the starting time for our dance nights after 40 years, but we won’t be dancing on New Year’s Eve, but Cowichan International Folkdancers, will now be dancing from 7-9 p.m. on Mondays year-round, at Mill Bay Community Hall beside Kerry Park Arena.”

Mostly non-partner dances are taught. The first night is free, then it’s a $5 drop-in or low-cost plan. Call Kate 250-743-5068, or Jim 250-743-2686 for more details.

Sounds like a fun, and different way to start getting more exercise in the new year.

Why not give them a call?



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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