10. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’m just home from Appomattox. I thought the opera was very good. It was moving. It was mesmerizing. It worked for me.

Yeah, there were maybe a couple of moments I might have changed. For instance … what was with the horses at the end? (Is this dead animal year at San Francisco Opera? Well, maybe dead animal and fire year, eh? Yes, there was fire in this production, just like last week’s opera of fire and dead animals.) Someone said it was about The Book of Revelations. But, well, I found the horses awfully distracting. I guess I find dead animals distracting, because that’s the way I was in Tannhäuser as well. Oh … but the live horse on Tannhäuser was distracting too. Maybe animals live or dead distract me. Call me silly.

Anyway, I don’t understand how any reviewer could call the opera boring. And I think I read that word written by one reviewer. I find a boring comment befuddling. Or baffling.

I loved “Tenting Tonight” (I do wonder if they changed the words to “camping tonight” in what I think of as the chorus, or if those are authentic — I’m guessing there might be several versions of the song.) The other “songs” were very moving as well … the “Marching Song of the First of Arkansas” was powerful, as was the ballad about Jimmy Lee Jackson.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for things that move me. Hmmm.

I wasn’t certain singers were always with the orchestra, but unless I see a score I couldn’t say “absolutely positutely”. (I probably shouldn’t say that anyway, since the second word isn’t a word. But I deem it a word, so there you go.)

And to DK and Janet … fabulous playing you two! I loved hearing you, and I was impressed. Okay. Impressed and humbled. Bravi tutti!

This just added … someone had written about laughing high school students implying that this showed that something wasn’t working on stage. I’ve got news for you; students laugh when they are uncomfortable. They laugh when they see certain sex scenes (I saw this when I used to accompany a class to San Jose Rep) because even though they think they are “sex savvy” they aren’t. Not really. They laugh when something is too intense (I witnessed this at Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet up in San Francisco a few year back). And they laugh when the hear the n-word because they don’t know what else to do. We shouldn’t use their laughter to judge the quality of something. Trust me.

Begin:

“War is always sorrowful
And this war the most sorrowful of all.
Never before has so much blood been drained
Ulysses says it never will again
This is the last time.”

End:

“And this is not the last time.
What has occurred must ever recur.
This will not be the last time.
This will not be the last time.”

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