working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

martes, marzo 18, 2008

city opera is the new crystal castles.

I had the pleasure of attending the final New York City Opera performance of King Arthur, directed and choreographed by Mark Morris. If you're familiar with Mr. Morris (I'm totally uncultured and wasn't at all until Saturday), you could gather that this wasn't a "traditional" performance. John Dryden's libretto was entirely omitted, leaving nothing but the Henry Purcell score. As a result, the typically four hour-long production lasted less than half the amount of time.

If you expected a plot, you were out of luck. There were no actual "characters", no actual story. It can easily be explained by this quote from Morris himself-- "The setting is the stage. The time is now. The performers are themselves." And by easily, I mean that I probably need to do more explaining. Morris organized King Arthur as a pageant, a trail of tiny numbers that would be quite disorienting if you weren't familiar with the original story. There was a sense of something missing at times, but the sense didn't get any stronger than when you realized that one seemingly important element was completely absent-- the title character. King Arthur himself was represented by a large prop crown.

Not weird enough for you? Well maybe you'd get a kick out of the simulated sex on stage, which provoked one audience member to yelp out a hearty "BOO". Or maybe you'd prefer the random presence of a giraffe, duck, cheetah, and flamingo? When asked about their presence, Morris replied, "They're there for no reason whatsoever". I admittedly love this quote, but leaned towards liking the idea of the production a lot more than the actual experience of watching it. I enjoyed it... but had I entered the theater knowing what to expect, I think I would have been able to separate myself from my expectations attached to the idea of "opera".

The upcoming productions by City Opera shouldn't bring up such issues as this. If you'd like to pretend to be cultured and classy like me, I strongly recommend visiting their site for more details and to purchase tickets! Upcoming productions include:

  • Madama Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini: March 6-April 6 (details)
  • Falstaff, Giuseppe Verdi: March 19-April 6 (details)
  • Tosca, Giacomo Puccini: March 22-April 5 (details)
  • Candide, Leonard Bernstein: April 8-April 20 (details)
And for no other reason than the fact that they were included in the title of this post, I present a remix of Crystal Castles by LingLing, featuring vocals by ITMS!! fave gidgetsparks. It's a repeat, but a goodie.
dl: CRYSTAL CASTLES f/ GIDGETSPARKS - Air War (LingLing remix) (YSI)
BLOGGER NOTE: The above doodle is a stylization of a photograph of Mhairi Lawson appearing on the playbill for this production of King Arthur.

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