polutrope: (Default)
So because obscure bel canto operas are sort of What I Do, I saw Mayr's Medea in Corintho today.

Three Main Impressions: 1. This opera house is gorgeous. 2. Medea is amazing, I must google her. 3. WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST WATCH

Because in the first act at least, this was Regietheater at its dubious finest. Which means: lots of supernumeraries, ridiculous costumes, and in this case, a bit of blackface. No, really. I have no idea why, but there were a bunch of captives in really embarrassing blackface. There was also a good deal of killing supernumeraries for no particular reason, during an aria about being happy - my best guess is that it was supposed to invoke the dark underside of Creusa and Jason's love, because it is after all founded upon Medea's betrayals.

There were also two young men running around the stage, who were supposed to represent love and hate, I'm pretty sure. Hate was dressed in pale blue and lichen green, because, well, I have no idea.

It wasn't all bad, though: during the second act, the stage was much less cluttered by unnecessary people and killing thereof, and was thus the more dramatic. Medea's costumes were interesting: she wore variations on black dresses for most of the opera, then at the end, after killing her children, she wore white and held her son's red ball.

Musically and dramatically, the opera is very uneven. Arias and duets tend to happen with no particular cause or transition, and the usurpation by Egeo is a mere distraction - it happens at the end of the first act and is dealt with during the intermission. The music is very rich, from that transitional period between classical and bel canto; and yet, it often feels flat and earthbound, without the transcendence of Donizetti or Bellini. Nonetheless, there are glorious moments, mainly when Medea sings.

All in all, a quite enjoyable night, if you ignore the staging.

The trailer of the opera (yeah, operas have trailers now I guess)


And Nadja Michael (Medea) singing "Gl├╝ck, das mir verblieb," by Korngold
polutrope: (chips challenge)
OMG. And if you would take me to task for using those three letters, which inadequately express my feelings, I say to you that nothing could sum up what I have seen. I have just spent the best five minutes of my life watching this (credit is of course to parterre; I do not find these things on my own.


and while I would indeed watch a fantasy movie with Dmitri as some sort of half-naked villain, this is not exactly how it would go.

My heart reaches out, too, to this man's poor abused special effects program.
polutrope: (moar academia)
For my Odyssey class I am writing "about Helen." Since that means that I'm going to be working off about a hundred lines, I went to the library to find some secondary sources, and for some reason there's not much about her! Through use of the subject heading search in the catalog, I found The Meaning of Helen by Robert Meagher.

About 80 pages in, I thought "Wow, I cannot quote this book ever." This was triggered by his talking about how before the Indo-Europeans came, the Neolithic peoples lived in matriarchal Peace and Harmony.
Abandon all organization, all ye who enter here )

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