Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Finnish television or cinema will broadcast Salzburg 2014 Don Giovanni. The Finns have good taste. Excellent singing from EVERYone. Ildebrando-magnificent. Stage design=stupendous. I keep trying to factor out Ildebrando, just for the intellectual exercise. Everything is excellent. Stage forms a triangle, symbol of many love triangles Don Giovanni hosts. Orchestra is great. Finns=lucky. Looking ahead Salzburg 2015: Alessio Arduini is already scheduled to appear Easter Salzburg 2015.

Sven-Eric Bechtolt, artistic director, has already written a Foreword. Program has interesting comments in English about the planned 2015 Salzburg production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Yannick Nezet-Seguin and Rolando Villazon scheduled to appear. Link here

The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry

Writing with the Masters. Chapter 6 excerpt. Study this passage for its humor. One Indian is named Little Wolf, diminutive and cute. If you're McMurtry, you know that he uses animals as characters. The two Indians have names that contain the root word "Satan." How politically incorrect is that?!? Author Larry McMurtry calls this slim new work a ballad; you may want to look up that word. I made the mistake of trying to read The Last Kind Words Saloon in a public place and  had to put the book down after nearly every chapter, laugh, wipe away tears, and continue reading. 

Chap 6

“There’s seven of them,” Satank said.  “I don’t think they all have guns.  We can catch them and burn them right now.” 

“They might have rifles in the wagons, where we can’t see them," Satanta, the Red Bear, pointed out.

They watched from a little copse of trees near the Wichita River as a small party of teamsters, in three wagons, struggled over the rocky ground. Earlier that day some soldiers came by, too many to challenge—though Satanta, who was reckless to the point of folly, wanted to challenge them anyway.  But Satank and Little Wolf persuaded the warriors to wait for easier prey—maybe there would be some women they could rape and torment.

When the seven teamsters came into view Satank was disappointed that no women were with them, but seven white men were better than nothing. 

The teamsters were using oxen, rather than mules, which made them easier to catch, but, even so, one white man got away into the chaparral.  That left six, and two of them put up such a stiff fight that it was necessary to kill them directly, rather than with torture.  Of course they castrated and scalped them anyway, although they weren’t alive to feel it.

That left four teamsters and they each paid a heavy price for having blundered into the People’s country.  The leader, a stout man who yelled the loudest, was chained face down from a wagon tongue and slowly burned alive—his screams could be heard for a long time, along with those of a tall boy who had his genitals cooked over a small fire that Satank himself had carefully nursed along.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From The Secrets of Paris by Michael Kerrigan. 

The Arab World Institute was opened in 1981 to foster understanding between the West and the Arab countries.  The prophet Muhammad discouraged his followers from flaunting their wealth with gold, silver, and jewels, so Arab craftsmen found ways (like marquetry, mosaic and the most delicate wood work and leather work) of making ordinary materials precious.  In Jean Nouvel's innovative building, these values become architectural, a basic modern glass-and-aluminum construction given an alabaster sheen.  What at first glance look to be blank office-block windows are ornamented with lattice-like motifs.  These adjust themselves automatically controlling light levels inside. (page 110).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Institut Du Monde Arabe

Today I was looking at a book on Paris and came across the Institut Du Monde Arabe.  The leader of the Arab people had warned them against adorning themselves with gold, silver, jewels. They instead turned to mosaic, leather, and metal worked with ornate designs. Simple materials. Intricate artwork.  Architect Jean Nouvel designed the building. While each panel does look life fretwork, the openings adjust to let natural light into the building itself.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Idomeneo Longer Review and Spotify Weblink

Martin Kusej directed. Some boos but you can't please everyone.

If you want to listen, here is a Spotify link:

Idomeneo Current Production and One Review

Martin Kusej Production. You may or may not remember his Don Giovanni Salzburg 2006.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo Macerata Fest Don Giovanni

Two different whites. The bed is dead white, static, matte, limited sculpture qualities.  Donna Anna's gown, white but beautiful, fluid, sculptural, flower petals. She's at her best. Don Giovanni is at his best. Opera should provide many contexts and subtexts and provoke thought.