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Performing opera version of 'Reading Lolita in Tehran'

Monday, February 14, 2011; 12:01 AM

OPERA
'Reading Lolita in Tehran'

Like books on tape? What about books in song? Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir "Reading Lolita in Tehran" has been made into an opera by University of Maryland doctoral student and composer Elisabeth Mehl Greene. Nafisi's book and the opera chronicle a reading group the author started for female scholars to discuss great works of Western literature banned by the Iranian government. The opera debuts Friday with an informal performance - no costumes, no props, just voices - at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Eight singers, accompanied by a quartet of musicians, will make their way through such seminal works as "The Great Gatsby," "1984," Jane Austen novels and, of course, Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita." After the show, Nafisi will take questions from the audience.

Friday at 7:30 p.m. Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Route 193 and Stadium Drive, College Park. 301-405-2787. www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu . Free.

- Jess Righthand

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