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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What Say You, Mudede?

Posted by on September 13 at 16:29 PM


Do many millet grains make porridge? What of the untold labor? If you can spare a moment, Charles, would you please relate this artwork to Nietzsche, architecture, and the crying of little boys? I’m just in the mood to see some dots connected Mudede-style, if you’re in the mood to oblige.

(This is a work of art from Dan Halter’s current exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa. For the untrained eye: these are interwoven maps of Zimbabwe. Oh, and I saw them on the great visuals blog vvork [get it? vvork? work?], introduced to me today by the marvelous Nick, who is very much not wearing a sheriff’s badge over his right pectoral muscle, but who did remind me that Seattle Opera is finally doing Handel this season. The trend Anne Midgette refers to in her piece in in today’s NYT has completely skipped Seattle, unless I’m crazy. Anyone know when was the last Speight Jenkins Handel?)

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Last time Jenkens did Handel was about 8-10 years ago, I think. 'Xerxes.' It was great.

Jenkins doesn't like Handel. That's the dope on the street.

There's a shortish article about Speight in Opera News where he talks almost proudly about how he doesn't like Handel/Baroque.

It's so unnerving because he's all "Well there are good singers doing it, so I'll hop on the bandwagon." I'm sick of this nasty attitude that only takes into account the most obviously queeny-assed dramatic operas. It is no fucking feat to move an audience when your opera's about throwing a baby into a river. But Baroque music is ennobling and speaks more to ecstatic cloak of the universe and human experience.


O mill, what hast thou ground?

One reason Seattle Opera hasn't done much Handel is that the acoustics in the old Opera House weren't so good for small orchestras. The first thing Jenkins said to me after McCaw Hall opened in 2003 was "Now we can finally do [Monteverdi's] Poppea." Baroque ensembles will likely sound less distant, more intimate, and more alive in the new space.

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