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Friday, May 20

Just Announced! Richard Harvell

Writers in the Loft welcomes

Richard Harvell

author of the critically acclaimed novel The Bells, just out in paperback.
Wednesday, July 27th, at 7pm

Writers in the Loft series introduces new format:
Package includes book, bar beverage, and author meet-and-greet/signing.

Tickets on sale to Music Hall members at noon on Thursday May 19th.
On sale to the general public at noon on Wednesday June 1st.

“triumphant…. a poignant and acutely told story of the human spirit.”
– Library Journal

The Music Hall and RiverRun Bookstore announce the latest addition to their new Writers in the Loft series. On Wednesday, July 27, at 7pm, author Richard Harvell will present his new book The Bells, just out in paperback. His appearance with Writers in the Loft will take place at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street in downtown Portsmouth.

Writers in the Loft is akin to The Music Hall’s anchor author series, Writers on a New England Stage, featuring well-known authors but in a smaller, more intimate space.  It is produced as a partnership between The Music Hall and RiverRun Bookstore with Series Sponsor Citizens Bank. The series will bring audiences today’s top authors, the best of fiction and nonfiction.  Tickets for Writers in the Loft: Richard Harvell will go on sale to members May 19th and on sale to the general public June 1st.
Tom Holbrook, owner of RiverRun Bookstore, says “The Bells should resonate (no pun intended) with the Music Hall’s core constituency.  Those who enjoy the Met@TheMusicHall opera broadcasts will especially want to read this great book; and patrons regularly attending the Writers on A New England Stage series will enjoy the intimate new format of Writers In The Loft.”
About the book, The Bells
The celebrated opera singer “Lo Svizzero” was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps where his mother served as the keeper of the loudest and most beautiful bells in the land. Shaped by the bells’ glorious music, as a boy he possessed an extraordinary gift for sound. But when his preternatural hearing was discovered—along with its power to expose the sins of the church—young Moses Froben was cast out of his village with only his ears to guide him in a world fraught with danger.

Rescued from certain death by two traveling monks, he finds refuge at the vast and powerful Abbey of St. Gall. There, his ears lead him through the ancient stone hallways and past the monks’ cells into the choir, where he aches to join the singers in their strange and enchanting song. Suddenly Moses knows his true gift, his purpose. Like his mother’s bells, he rings with sound and soon, he becomes the protege of the Abbey’s brilliant yet repulsive choirmaster, Ulrich.

But it is this gift that will cause Moses’ greatest misfortune: determined to preserve his brilliant pupil’s voice, Ulrich has Moses castrated. Now a young man, he will forever sing with the exquisite voice of an angel—a “musico”—yet castration is an abomination in the Swiss Confederation, and so he must hide his shameful condition from his friends and even from the girl he has come to love. When his saviors are exiled and his beloved leaves St. Gall for an arranged marriage in Vienna, he decides he can deny the truth no longer and he follows her—to sumptuous Vienna, to the former monks who saved his life, to an apprenticeship at one of Europe’s greatest theaters, and to the premiere of one of history’s most beloved operas.

In this confessional letter to his son, Moses recounts how his gift for sound led him on an astonishing journey to Europe’s celebrated opera houses and reveals the secret that has long shadowed his fame: How did Moses Froben, world renowned “musico,” come to raise a son who by all rights he never could have sired?

Like the voice of “Lo Svizzero,” The Bells is a sublime debut novel that rings with passion, courage, and beauty.

About the author, Richard Harvell
Richard Harvell was born in New Hampshire and studied English literature at Dartmouth College. He now lives in Basel, Switzerland, with his wife and children. The Bells is his first novel.  Find out more at http://www.richardharvell.com

About the Loft: The Center for Performing Arts, Literature and Education
The Music Hall’s new Loft space, a Center for Performing Arts, Literature and Education, opened in April 2011. A critical extension of The Music Hall’s mission “to be an active and vital arts center for the enrichment of the Seacoast community,” the Loft significantly increases capacity for The Music Hall’s existing educational and community programs, and allows for creative new educational and programming initiatives. Whether in a classroom configuration, master class in a theater-style set up, small workshop in a conference room, or cabaret or theater arrangement, the Loft will engage children, teens, and adults.
Writers in the Loft Package Purchase 
Tickets to Writers in the Loft; Richard Harvell are $25 for members of The Music Hall ($28 for general public). Included in the package are a reserved seat, a copy of The Bells ($14.00 trade paperback), bar beverage; and author presentation, Q&A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Tickets are available through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603-436-2400 or online. Packages, if available, can also be purchased on the night of the event at The Music Hall Loft Box office at 131 Congress Street, beginning at 6:00pm for the 7pm event. The author will autograph his book for package-purchasers on the night, following his reading and discussion.  
Series Sponsor:  Citizens Bank

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