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Professor Peter Child's Estrella: The Assassination of Augusto C�sar Sandino is included on the Cantata Singers' concert of "old and new works of dark nobility and grandeur" on Friday, Jan. 29 (8pm) and Sunday, Jan. 31 (3pm) at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. Estrella, based on Sandino's guerilla war against the US Marines and his eventual murder in 1934, was commissioned by the Cantata Singers in 1988, in the heat of political strife in Nicaragua. Professor Child will deliver pre-concert talks an hour before the concert in the Keller Room on Friday and in Williams Hall on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $14-$38. For more information, call 267-6502.

"In just a short time Sonos has achieved brand-name status," wrote the Boston Globe's Richard Buell, reviewing the ensemble's December 6 concert in Kresge Auditorium. "Etiolations, half-tints, and inwardness they can handle just fine... but the main impression you're likely to carry away from one of their concerts is of zest, extroversion, physical exuberance." Sonos is composed of faculty from MIT (Professor Marcus Thompson, viola, and Senior Lecturer David Deveau, piano) and Boston University (Bayla Keyes, violin, and Michael Reynolds, cello).

The Philadelphia Inquirer named Edward Baron Turk's Hollywood Diva: A Biography Of Jeanette MacDonald one of "the best movie books to appear in the last 12 months" in its year-end book roundup. Carrie Rickey, the Inquirer's film critic, praised the book as "an evenhanded, even-tempered account of a life that might be called, after one of [MacDonald's] movie triumphs, Bitter Sweet." The book, which is already in its second printing, also earned a rave from Opera News, where Brooks Peters called it a "scrupulously researched work of scholarship that reads like a novel... The book's breathless pace is scintillating, but don't let the rhapsodic tone fool you. Hollywood Diva is an incisive look behind the scenes... [which] goes a long way toward securing [MacDonald's] reputation as celluloid's greatest prima donna."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 13, 1999.

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