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Subject: Re: Menotti: The Consul . . . and other works (was Re: Turandot)
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:56:26 -0500

text/plain (51 lines)

Don't stop now.  I remember seeing The Last Savage at the Met and fell in
love with it then.  Finally they did it here in Santa Fe and we saw several
performances of it.  The Consul is a terrific piece of dramatic writing and
I'll never forget that old recording with Eileen Farrell singing "To This
We've Come".  Don't forget the Saint either which I also enjoy.  Brings
back memories of the old Italian neighborhood in NY, the San Gennaro
Festival and my Catholic upbringing.  An underestimated work I think.

Thanks, Don!

I never forget about "The Saint of Bleecker Street" - it is, in my opinion, one of the great 
American operas, alongside Porgy and Bess, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Susannah, and a few 
others.  The chorus work often reminds me of Boris Godunov so important are they.  
There's the opening in Michele and Annina's apartment and there again at the end, where 
they transform the cold water flat into a cathedral, the San Gennaro festival and the horror 
of that tattoo/parade as Michele is tied to the fence and beaten - it just keeps going.  I get 
the chills each time, the inexorable march "San Gennaro!  San Gennaro!" . . .  There is so 
much atmosphere packed into this opera.    

Menotti, while entertaining and enthralling us, allows us also, if we so choose, to accompany 
him on a journey that questions and challenges us and I will go with him on that journey 
every time.  

I remember a production production by The Washington Opera directed by Menotti himself.  
It was as good as it gets.  There were also performances of "The Medium" and "The 
Telephone."   Later that season Menotti honored at a concert of his music at the Academy of 
Science for his 80th birthday.   Most memorable work of the evening was the Nocturne for 
Soprano, Harp and String quartet performed by Faith Esham who looked every bit as 
gorgeous as she sounded (who also sang a set of his songs).

I hope others are listening to the Sirius broadcast going on now of Massenet's delicious 
chestnut "Thais" with Ailyn Perez and Gerald Finley led by Emmanuel Villaume.  It's 

Now . . . everyone back to Turandot!  ;>


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