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It’s Free Audio Friday, and Elizabeth has two new LibriVox dramas for you: George Bernard Shaw’s Misalliance, a house-party comedy about amorous misadventures, and August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, a two-part black comedy about a destructive marriage. Elizabeth reads the narration and the role of Lina, a Polish acrobat, in the Shaw play, and performs the part of Alice, the manipulative wife, in the Strindberg play. Happy (free) listening!

wuthering-heights

It’s Free Audio Friday (er, Saturday) and Elizabeth has a new LibriVox dramatic reading for you: Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Elizabeth reads the role of Cathy Linton alongside an exemplary cast of LibriVox volunteers (including Bruce Pirie, Amanda Friday, Arielle Lipshaw, and Tiffany Halla Colonna). Bronte’s classic Gothic tale of the doomed love between Catherine and Heathcliff (embodied by Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier in the photo at left) is a brooding, violent tale of class and familial antagonism and revenge.

Dracula

 

Elizabeth’s LibriVox recording of Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been downloaded over half a million times, according to the Internet Archive. Go here to download this recording, which features a full cast reading the different characters in Stoker’s epistolary novel. Elizabeth reads the role of Mina Murray Harker, who narrates quite a few of the chapters. The Internet Archive page contains a number of five-star reviews of the production, and you can also read a more extended review of the version featured on CraftLit here. Check it out – and enjoy!

edwardii

It’s Free Audio Friday, and this week there’s a new LibriVox drama ready for download: Christopher Marlowe’s dark Elizabethan tragedy Edward II. Elizabeth reads the role of the betrayed yet ultimately villainous Queen Isabella, whose husband is far more interested in his favorite courtier, Gaveston, than he is in her. (The image is the always-fabulous Tilda Swinton as Isabella, from Derek Jarman’s 1991 film version of the play.)

william-shakespeare-portrait11

Shakespeare celebrated his 449th birthday this past Tuesday, on April 23rd. In his honor, Elizabeth has put together a little compilation of selected scenes from some of his plays, in which she has performed for LibriVox. There are six different plays included in the sound file – see if you can name any or all of them! Bonus points if you can name the characters as well. Feel free to post a comment (either here or on Elizabeth’s Facebook page) to test your Shakespearean knowledge.

File runs 8:17. All works are public domain.

dangerous liaisons

 

Elizabeth reads the role of the Presidente de Tourvel in LibriVox’s new dramatic recording of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Dangerous Connections, now available for download. This classic tale of deception and seduction among aristocrats in pre-Revolutionary France was filmed as Dangerous Liaisons in 1987 (the image above is Michelle Pfeiffer as Tourvel and John Malkovich as the scheming Vicomte de Valmont). It works beautifully as a dramatic reading, since it is an epistolary novel, composed entirely of letters. LibriVox volunteers lend their voices to the different characters’ letters. Enjoy!

Rose_O_the_River_1304This week’s Free Audio Friday is a new LibriVox release: a dramatic reading of Kate Douglas Wiggin’s charming young adult novel Rose O’ the River. You can download it for free here. Elizabeth reads the narration and provides the character voice for Mrs. Wiley, the title character’s rather cantankerous grandmother. This is a LibriVox full cast recording, which means that different readers provide the voices for the characters in Wiggin’s novel. Happy listening!

Munch - Starry NightFor this week’s Free Audio Friday, Elizabeth is announcing another new LibriVox release: Henrik Ibsen’s drama John Gabriel Borkman, which you can download for free here. Elizabeth reads the role of Ella Rentheim in Ibsen’s family tragedy, his penultimate play, written in 1896. The Borkman family fortunes have been brought low by the imprisonment of John Gabriel, who used his position as a bank manager to illegally speculate with his investors’ money. The action of the play takes place eight years after Borkman’s release when John Gabriel Borkman, Mrs. Borkman, and her twin sister Ella Rentheim battle over the future of young Erhart Borkman. Elizabeth was thrilled to read Ella alongside LibriVox veterans Bruce Pirie as John Gabriel Borkman, and Arielle Lipshaw as Gunhild Borkman.

The image is a painting by Edvard Munch, part of a series inspired by John Gabriel Borkman. For more information on Munch’s work with Ibsen, go here.

Heartbreak House

 

Today’s Free Audio Friday is also a LibriVox new release: a full-cast recording of George Bernard Shaw’s 1916 play Heartbreak House. You can download and listen here for free. Elizabeth reads the role of Hesione Hushabye, the flamboyant and slightly off-kilter hostess who assembles a strange group of people at her country house for a weekend party on the eve of World War I. The group includes her long-lost sister Lady Ariadne Utterword, her young friend Ellie Dunn (who is determined to marry a “Napoleon of industry,” Boss Mangan, for his money), Ellie’s rather doddering father Mazzini, Hesione’s husband Hector (with whom Ellie has fallen in love), and Randall Utterword, who is desperately in love with his sister-in-law Ariadne. The house is presided over by Hesione and Ariadne’s father, Captain Shotover, a bluff and gruff old salt, who attempts to run the house like a ship at sea. The volunteer cast do a superb job of capturing the farcical yet tragic nature of Shaw’s brilliant play.

(The image above is from a recent British production of the play, with Derek Jacobi as Captain Shotover.)

Brown.Romeo

Valentine’s Day was yesterday, so for this week’s Free Audio Friday, Elizabeth is featuring a LibriVox recording of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, one of the world’s greatest romances. Elizabeth reads the role of Juliet opposite Simon Taylor’s Romeo; you can download the play for free here. To whet your appetite, the famous “balcony scene” from Act 2 is available for listening right here:

Romeo and Juliet – The Balcony Scene

The Nurse in this scene is read by Kristin Hughes. Enjoy the recording, and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!