Wednesday, October 26, 2016

radio dial

WCRB has posted last May's Saul from Boston's Handel & Haydn Society, with Iestyn Davies, Jonathan Best, Joelle Harvey, et al. We recognize that not everybody is a fan of this oratorio, but we think it shows Handel at the peak of his metal phase (C'mon! Witch of Endor! \m/).  Moreover, as with many Jennens librettos when combined with less than pristine choral diction, it's a great Mondegreen generator.

Meanwhile, WQXR has Ian Bostridge's Winterreise from Carnegie Hall, with luxury accompanist Thomas Ad├ęs, from last Sunday afternoon, to celebrate the cold, wet, raw, dreary end of our bright sunny days.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Zerbinetta is on the case

Sunday, October 23, 2016

sundry items

Harriet Walter, who will be Prospering in Brooklyn early in the new year, has a book out next week on a career's worth of Shakespeare, and she's written a short intro for The Arts Desk. Meanwhile, Janet McTeer, currently on Broadway in Josie Rourke's Les Liaisons Dangereuses revival, has a profile in The New Yorker.

Susan Graham's recital for Boston's Celebrity Series earlier this month has been archived on the WCRB site, and last spring's Boston Baroque Magic Flute with Nicholas Phan is also there, plus a bunch of other interesting things are currently inhabiting the WCRB archive if you click around.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

nettle for the day

This is either the absolute worst time for a revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses on Broadway or possibly the best time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

project update for any who will

Well, that's one dress rehearsal survived. Invited audience members stayed through the whole thing, yay. More to the point, nobody got fidgety during Act II: Attack of the Suffrage Referenda! And it held together pretty well despite a missing cast member and blocking in its infancy.

What's interesting, though, is how much the spoken parts fade against the songs. Or maybe that's just  a corollary of that old college lit-class law that says you hand the damn paper in already when you can't remember a shred of what you wrote.

Or maybe it's just the strength of the songs, which is, of course, how it should be. Anyway, several people said the narrative worked, so we run with that.

Additions and subtractions:

One inquiry from the Labor History quarter about working Elizabeth Gurley Flynn into the narrative for the Lawrence Strike / Bread & Roses segment.
(Yes we absolutely should but can we?)

The Lawrence into Titanic bit remains problematic post-editing -- we are now backing into Titanic through a very narrow crawlspace of anti-suffrage reference, which used to be a broad boulevard of High Edwardian anti-suffrage bloviation. (C'mon! Cantankerous viragos! Fun!) But there has been some give on the idea of rewriting that part completely, so at least that's on the table for down the line.

The other side of the writing table also suggested that the Ida B Wells segment has taken too much of a hit in the editing process, and we should reinstate a key line from the July draft. Huzzah!

It strikes me also how visual this show ought to be (but won't be for the foreseeable future), because of how visual the movement gets after 1900. Advertising conquers all.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016

Peter Allen 1920 - 2016

Peter Allen was the announcer for the Met broadcasts from 1975, when he succeeded Milton Cross, to 2004, when Margaret Juntwait took the mic. He had this cool delivery that, while not being stagey, made every plot synopsis, costume description, and singer bio its own bit of theater. His cadences might seem slightly old skool now, but I miss them when the scripted Saturday tag-team act gets a bit too precious. NYT obituary here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Night in the Archives

Head this way for the archived edition of last Saturday's Boston Symphony Rosenkavalier (Fleming, Graham, Morley, Hawlata, c. Nelsons).

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday Night in the Provinces*

The Boston Symphony gives us a preview of the Met's upcoming Rosenkavalier tonight, with Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Erin Morley, Franz Hawlata, and Stephen Costello (in a bit of Italian Tenor luxury casting) tonight at 7pm, streaming at WCRB. Andris Nelsons conducts.

Meanwhile, WFMT has LOC's Rheingold opening, wherein our hero (Eric Owens) graduates from Alberich to Wotan, at 6:45ET.

*not to be confused with the Fennig's All Star String Band album of the same name