Philanthropist, author, winery founder and former California State Assemblyman Brooks Firestone had the winning bid for the chance to play a role in Opera Santa Barbara’s upcoming production of Puccini’s “Giannin Schicchi.” What he didn’t know was he’d won the role of Buoso Donati, a corpse! Always one to look for the bright side of things, he decided to use it as an opportunity to create his 4th journal of a “singing” adventure. Well, in this case, singing… not so much. Brooks has already written 3 fine prior journals about his experiences with the Berkshire Choral International in Italy, the Westmont College Choir’s “Lord Nelson Mass” and Santa Barbara Choral Society’s collaboration with the Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet for a grand production of “Carmina Burana.” His story is a fascinating look at the bringing of an opera to life from the perspective of someone who is a part of it. I am covering it photographically for the journal, as I did for “Carmina Burana,” and here are a few teasers to get started.