Sunday, February 3, 2008

Always on a Sunday

Finally getting a bit of time to committ to Alex Ross' "The Rest is Noise" has brought back to my mind a number of scores that I haven't listened to in years. Being so focused in early music is easy because there is SO much of it that has been little explored (and it is so great). That said, there is wealth of other rep that I love, but haven't thought about for quite some time. So imagine this...right now I am listening to "Elektra" with scores and recordings of "Saint Francois d'Assise", "Tannhauser", "Salome", "Ariadne", "Threepenny Opera", and "The Rakes Progress" in front of me. Perhaps this is appropriate listening for a day that is dedicated to tax season.

Teatro Romea is presenting Tony Kushner's "Homebody/Kabul" here, and today is the last chance to see it. This is a tremendously important play by the author of "Angels in America". His writing is poetic, biting, and builds great structures of metaphors and critical thought all at once. It is unclear whether the production will be in English or Catalan and that will certainly effect my decision to go or not. I really have a strong dislike, or lack of appreciation for, things in translation. I rarely read books or poetry in anything except the original language (unless it is a language I'm likely to never learn). I hate over-dubbed movies. And opera in translation I am extremely disapproving of...I don't think it helps make the work accessible and it denies the inherent connection between a composer and the words he sets. Of course in different periods text has been less intricately connected to the music, but by and large I don't think it serves any purpose except to weaken the work.

The score for "David et Jonathas" is finally completely marked and I can start marking the parts to send to our concertmistress, the renowned Dana Maiben, to bow. This will be a big job as well. And somewhere in there I will start practicing the score and recreate my staging. This is an exciting prospect because it is a chance to see how my understanding of this great work is changed by the experience and personal growth of the last several years.

That will be Sunday in Barcelona I suppose. I wish I had more to write about, but there isn't much fodder out there just now. It is an off week at Liceu until "Elektra" next week, the Times has been particularly weak on stories lately, the work of the company is in the not-quite-so-interesting phase (though we did get two new board members), and my own computer has died temporarily so I don't have access to DVD's or extended use of the internet.

I will say this, Clayton Koonce has posted a "Fantasy Opera Season" which I think is a great idea and something I am going to have to work on. It will take a lot to widdle it down, but my first thoughts are "Platee", "Tristan", "Pellias", "Capriccio", and then it becomes less clear.


Clayton said...

After I posted my fantasy season, I started thinking of other operas I would have liked to include, but they would have broken my fantasy budget.

Timothy Nelson said...

Ah yes, fantasy budgets...I'm afraid my "St. Francis" would take my fantasy budget for several years! Thanks for the idea though - it is fantastic.