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Subject: Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest last night
From: "gelfin @[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gelfin @[log in to unmask]
Date:Sat, 17 Nov 2012 10:10:57 -0800

text/plain (47 lines)

Attended the USC production of Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest last night. The
student singers did an great job. The Ariel of Jen Lee was beyond amazing.
Blake Howard as Caliban was also a standout.

The opera has its problems, (musical & structural) but I was happy to have
had the opportunity to see it. Video exists of an early production (Des
Moines 1986) Several private and one commercial audio recording (Albany
Music Distribution) exist as well. The score is published by Schirmer ISBN

There was a short discussion and Q&A with the librettist Mark Shulgasser
before the performance.

Unfortunately the production in the hands of faculty not students had no
something the story demands. The lighting was so inept that one could only
conclude it was done by braille. The costumes of the goddesses were a rip
off of Our Lady of Central America annual procession costume executed in
the cheapest & blingeist fabric that could be found–and lots of it. (Though
one looked vaguely Russian....) What passed as stage direction rarely rose
above traffic control at the elementary school buss stop.  The Orchestra
was placed on the back of the stage (again???a fetish?) for no good reason
or any positive effect.

Many more examples of professional malpractice could be given, but whats
the point?
Students deserve much better for the money they pay.

The cookie monsters were not effective as Bunraku supers/stagehands.....

One more performance on Sunday.


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