Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 8, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 23
Seattle Opera's O + E a thrilling adaption of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Seattle Opera's O + E a thrilling adaption of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice

by Sharon Cumberland - SGN Contributing Writer

SEATTLE OPERA
O + E
AN ADAPTATION
OF GLUCK'S
ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE
SEATTLE OPERA
SOUTH LAKE UNION STUDIO
Through June 10


Gluck's heart-rending opera, Orpheus and Eurydice, has been a big hit ever since its first performance in Vienna in 1762. It tells the mythological story of Orpheus, whose trip into the underworld to rescue his dead wife, Eurydice, is helped along by Amore, the god of Love. In the Seattle Opera's current chamber version, performed in their rehearsal studios on Terry Avenue, the myth is brilliantly transposed to the present, where Orpheus is O, a young woman, and Eurydice is E, her wife, who is undergoing life-and-death surgery. The trip to the underworld is assisted by A, a female surgeon, who guides O through a nightmare of dangers to rescue E. It's an entirely plausible updating of the familiar story, with an excellent English language libretto by music director and conductor, Lucy Tucker Yates. And in this production all the performers are female, as are the production designers and most of the orchestra and chorus.

The intimate arena-style seating for fewer than a hundred people, embraces a small stage containing only a hospital gurney where E lays unconscious, and a lamp and a chair where O sits mournfully. The baroque orchestra of fifteen players sits behind a semi-transparent hospital curtain with a smaller curtain creating a corridor where busy personnel bustle on urgent business. When the surgeon A/Amore comes to tell O that the surgery may not be successful, we are in an entirely familiar place of fear and anxiety. If you're familiar with Gluck's famous opera, you are also in an entirely familiar musical place since, thankfully, there is no alteration of the beautiful, beloved opera. The English libretto sticks closely to the original re-telling of the myth with very few updates, all of which seemed appropriate in this setting. In fact, it was a joy to listen to this wonderful ensemble and watch - through a little crack in the curtain - as conductor Yates simultaneously conducted while playing continuo on the harpsichord.

In the myth Orpheus sings and plays his harp to lull the furies of Hades into admitting him to the underworld, where he has to persuade Eurydice to follow him even though he must obey Amore's condition that he may not look back at her until they return to the land of the living. In this version, O is met by furies in combat dress who twitch and contort to Gulck's exciting, agitated music. The chorus, standing out of sight with the orchestra, provides the resounding 'No!' each time O pleads for admittance. I was a little baffled by the army references - though 'War is hell' certainly came to mind. In this era of PTSD it's a fair enough metaphor for Hades.

The most heart-wrenching part of the myth is E/Eurydice's inability to follow her husband/wife because they refuse to look at her with love. O/Orpheus is forbidden to explain the conditions of her rescue, and eventually becomes worn down by her beloved's pleading. When she finally looks, she sees E fall dead for a second time. I've seen several productions of this wonderful opera - including the Mark Morris production at the Met, the Pacific MusicWorks' French language version in 2015, and several concert presentations - and all were compelling because so much of the drama and pathos is built into Gluck's music. But this all-woman iteration of the Orpheus tragedy gave me chills. I was mopping away tears through the entire second half of the opera.

Magda Gartner, a mezzo soprano from Germany, was a wiry, determined O with a fabulous voice. She made her Seattle Opera debut in this role, and we can only hope to see her in many more roles in the future. Tess Altiveros was equally fabulous as the elegant, passionate E. She was seen last season in Seattle Opera's The Combat, and in Pacific MusicWork's splendid presentation of that other great Orpheus opera, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo last October. Both Gartner and Altiveros have powerful, big-opera voices, but modulated them perfectly for the smaller space. It was a thrill to be in such close quarters with their beautifully trained voices. A/Amore was sung by another Seattle Opera debutant, Issaquah's own Serena Eduljee, whose sparkling performance brought light and hope into the darkness of a death-threat. Not only does she possess a confident, soaring soprano, but she navigated the range from serious surgeon to impish Amore with charm and authority.

Enough cannot be said about the importance of presenting a lesbian version of Gluck's timeless opera as a way to focus on love in all its forms. It spotlights the depth and legitimacy of human devotion in a way that makes you wonder why anyone could ever doubt that every combinations of consensual love is natural. Seattle Opera's chamber opera series - including the transgender opera As One, the Japanese internment opera An American Dream, and the Muslim/Christian conflict opera The Combat - all address the troubled and timely issues of the present through metaphors of the past. Seattle Opera has taken a tremendous step forward in bringing opera into the 21st century, to 21st century audiences. Kudos all around - it's been a privilege to see these works. I only wish everyone in the LGBT community could see it, and know that Seattle Opera is not only an ally, but a fully committed arts partner in the search for justice and understanding for the LGBT community.

You can still see O + E on Saturday, June 9th or Sunday, June 10th. Go to the Seattle Opera website (https://www.seattleopera.org/) for tickets and directions to the Seattle Opera studios.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Seattle Opera's O + E a thrilling adaption of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice
------------------------------
PNB's 'Love & Ballet' an exceptional reprise of great contemporary dance works and music
------------------------------
Wild Horses tells a 13 year-old's tale
------------------------------
Upstream Music Fest + Summit: My 10 favorite acts from the 3-day festival
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Bigger conversations: Truth, lies and the pursuit of immortality all collide in Bart Layton's American Animals
------------------------------
Documentary and docudrama collide with observationally prescient American Animals
------------------------------
Movingly incisive Escape a heartbreakingly potent melodrama
------------------------------
Pulpy Artemis a violently amusing retro thriller
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News