I’m taking a break. First stop: Prague.

The Munro Review is going on hiatus for a couple of weeks. When I return, there will be exciting changes ahead

The high-speed Intercity train to Krakow just pulled out of Praha hlavní nádraží, Prague’s main train station. As I write this post, Shane and I are watching the countryside of Czechia (which is what the Czech Republic goes by these days) fly by.  Agricultural fields dominate the foreground and stubby-treed forests are in the distance, all verdant and lush. The suburbs of Prague sprawl a lot less than they would in a similar sized American city. There are lots of buildings and then, boom, green as far as you can see. Could I fit some of that city-and-regional planning in my pocket and take it back to California?

Catching opera the way they do it in Europe: I’m at intermission at the Prague National Opera of “Lohengrin,” a nearly five-hour Wagner opera.

All this is a roundabout way of telling you that 1) I’m 5,618 miles from Fresno right now; 2) high-speed rail can be a wonderful thing; and 3) high-speed internet is a blessing and a curse. I’ve been out of the country for the past five days. Wait, you ask, how is it that you’ve been publishing posts during that time? The answer: WordPress knows no borders.

But now, the second part of my vacation — the non-Munro Review part — begins. I’ll be gone for nearly two weeks bopping around Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This will be my first extended absence from the site since I started it more than a year ago. (Time flies!)

My flight from Fresno meant I had to miss Audra McDonald’s big concert, to my disappointment. Just a few minutes ago, however, I posted a review of the event by my friend and former Bee colleague Doug Hoagland, who graciously agreed to give his take of the event. (Thank you, Doug!)

And I’ve prepared one more post in advance: Because I was unable to carry out my usual hosting duties of “The Munro Review” on CMAC for the June episode, I had another wonderful person agree to fill in: Jackie Ryle. I’ll post the link to that show when it goes live.

I also will miss some other upcoming Fresno-area events, including June ArtHop. (One top pick: Evany Zirul will be showing her welded wire pieces and bronze sculptures at Fig Tree Gallery.) And I won’t be here for two chamber-music events: Moment Musical will present its final concert of the season on June 3 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. The program includes Ravel’s famed String Quartet in F Major. And in Oakhurst, on June 10, a concert featuring both Fresno and “mountain” musicians is sponsored jointly by the Sierra Foothill Composers’ Co-operative and Vision Academy of the Arts. It will be at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church.

When I return mid-June, I’ll be working on the next exciting phase of The Munro Review, including a redesign and a voluntary membership structure. Look for many more details to come.

Meanwhile, I’ll be traipsing around the former Iron Curtain, taking lots of notes for travel stories to come. I might be checking my email if I happen to have a bunch of time on a train to kill. But more likely, I’ll be figuring out how to escape the iron chains of the internet.

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Author: Donald Munro

Covering the arts in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

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