|Jessye Norman Memorial|
Monday, November 25, 2019
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
|Solea Pfeiffer as Eva Peron, photo @Sara Krulwich|
I can't believe I'm using Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as examples of skillful dramaturges but Evita was everything that Akhnaten wasn't. Tim Rice was not afraid to paint his own picture of Eva Perón which mixed fact with fiction. Webber's music portrays the different facets of Perón-- her naked ambition in "Goodnight and Thank You" and her shiny charisma in the anthem "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." So I know that Philip Glass is a much superior composer to ALW, but Evita was engaging in all the ways Akhnaten wasn't.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
|Anthony Roth Costanzo as Akhnaten, photo @ Karen Almond|
Akhnaten (1984) is the last opera of Philip Glass's "Portrait" trilogy. The others are Satyagraha (about Mahatma Gandhi) and Einstein on the Beach (about, well, Einstein). Akhnaten in the14th century B.C.E. upended the ancient Egyptian religious system for a monotheistic religion that focused on the sun-god "Aten." For the libretto of Akhnaten Glass drew upon primary sources from the Amarna period. He even insisted on presenting most of the opera in ancient Egyptian with no surtitles.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Sesame Street turned 50 this week. The beloved children's television program has made kids laugh and learn for half a century. In addition to teaching kids the alphabet, phonics, basic math and some Spanish Sesame Street has never made any bones about pushing a larger social message of inclusiveness and cultural education. The show takes place on a large urban street and the characters reflect the diversity of NYC. The furry monsters co-existed despite having their own personalities, quirks, and (this is important) different fur color. Sesame Street did not dumb down its material for children -- its skits taught children not just the ABC's but how to settle conflict, how to express affection for each other, and how to deal with difficult issues like death. They even had an episode that addressed 9/11.
But you already knew all that. What I didn't realize was the wonderful arts tributes Sesame Street included over the years. I went on YT and found a goldmine.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
|Lifar and Danilova in the original Apollon Musagete|
It's December 2020 and the world is going through a furious, deadly second wave of the covid pandemic. Most performances have been cance...
Lifar and Danilova in the original Apollon Musagete The recent death of Alicia Alonso led me down the Youtube rabbit hole and I discove...
The United States on July 4, 2020 might be the bleakest it's ever been since, well, idk ... the summer of '68? The Great Depression?...
Tony and Maria pulled apart, photo @ Sara Krulwich Every year I try to take my mom to one Broadway musical. My mom requires two thin...