by pieces of moments
I’m heading into another one of those particularly busy periods, they do seem to come in clumps, don’t they? It’s like when you’re prepping to knit and you’re trying to get your yarn wound into a nice ball to make your life easier, but you keep coming across those clumps that you have to sit and undo and then it’s all fine and easy until you hit another knotted clump…yes, I just likened my schedule to the ebb and flow of yarn. Right…moving on. In the next two weeks I have to return to NYC for more TV tapings at Carnegie Hall, interview a student, write program notes for a friend’s recital, have friends come in from out of town, go to our radio show taping in Houston, and right afterward our radio show back here in town. *phew*
Speaking of NYC, I returned from New York at around 11:45 PM last night. I was there from Friday and Saturday for work, but Sunday was purely for fun. I was conducting live auditions at a well known school of music in the city and heard a lot of great music from 9-3. It’s always fantastic to be able to see kids working really hard with so much dedication to their craft – takes me back to my own days at their age going from audition to competition to competition.
Saturday evening I thought I would head up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute since I am stylistically inclined and have this kind of weird obsession with fashion history (e.g. I was in this little boutique with a friend paging through a fashion history book and apparently our nerdy knowledge banter caught the ear of the owner and she came over to ask us if we were designers, “no, we’re just obsessed”), but I got totally distracted and by the time I headed back over to 5th Ave it was late enough that I didn’t care about going that far uptown anymore and promptly turned around to head over to Lincoln Center to try to obtain an elusive ticket to the City Opera‘s production of King Arthur a la Mark Morris‘ ironic genius and his completely wonderful dance company (longest sentence that I’m not going to fix ever). Turns out the only tickets that were left were either in the $120 range or the $16 totally-hard-core-art-lovers standing room waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up in the top of the New York State Theater, so I stood for a long time (I mean, I love Mark Morris…but I not $120 worth of love…sorry…). I decided that while it’s definitely tiring to stand through a two hour Purcell opera, it is rather nice to be able to shift around, or walk around without disturbing anyone, and really, from all the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up there you can see all the dance structures and formations really well (I like to see the bright side in things). So over all I would actually recommend the standing room tickets for your next visit to the State Theater, and besides you can’t beat the price.
The production was great, of course, very British community theater, which added some cheeky flavor. I love Morris’ sense of humor because it really brings out the truly entertaining parts of these early British operas rather than taking them so seriously as too many Americans do. It’s great to sit in a theater and laugh – yes laugh – at the funny parts because they are produced to encourage you to engage, and react to, the emotional content rather than passively experience yet another night at the opera. I totally disagree with Macaulay’s review in the Times, I can see where he’s coming from, but I totally disagree. I suppose one of the reasons I like Morris’ overt gestures toward the music is because I’m a musician, but it’s also just his style. I love Balanchine and Graham and all those masters as much as anyone else, and I love Morris equally for his own style. And that sense of humor is great, so spot on. Let’s all admit that not all Baroque opera is great art. Dido and Aeneas is certainly by far Purcell’s highlight. I mean, what are you going to write all the time when some patron or king just wants some fun to watch with friends? I think Morris was brilliant for cutting out all the dialogs they were probably boring and stupid anyway (no offense to Purcell). At least Morris has the guts to admit the second rate nature of these lesser works rather than lauding them for non existent virtues just because they are old and written by someone “great”. Anyway, be sure to watch the video included on the Times page if nothing else.
**gray dress pictured designed by Olivier Theyskens