Had a wonderful time at the Washington Opera's DON G. last night. For the
most part the cast, production, and music came together for me very nicely,
and I was left wanting to do what Joseph II did after *another* of
Mozart's operas: give orders that supper would be served and the
The feel of the set was definitely chiaroscuro -- I wanted to say to the
Don: "This is inbred Habsburg and Almanach de Gotha country, Jack. They
take their bloodlines and their women's purity seriously. You best be
Which Dwayne Croft's cleanly sung, sardonic, reckless and a bit nasty Don
was not. The demonic in this production came more perhaps a malign Fate, in
the persons of the pursuers of this Very Bad Boy than it did from the Big
Guy Himself. Those retaliatory forces were very ably captained by brother
Rick's Don Ottavio and Hong's Zerlina.
This Ottavio was no wimp, but a gentlemen fighting, and fighting hard, with
someone who was not playing by Marquis of Queensbury rules; Hong gave us an
enchanting Zerlina, with real depth to the character. She also sang quite
beautifully: the caress with which she opened "Batti batti" had me melting.
I enjoyed the comedy from Zeporello; Pendatchanska (Elvira) strikes me as a
major talent in need of some significant polishing. The voice, character
and impact were all there, just wanting more fine tuning and development.
The fly in the ointment was Rautio's Donna A. The woman has a HUGE voice,
but little control over a blowsy top. The volume -- and, sorry to say, the
diction -- came from the School of Sutherland; however, unlike Dame Joan,
Rautio couldn't hit the notes cleanly. There were some nice bits when she
came down off mega forte; mostly I just let her singing go by, trying not
to let it spoil what was otherwise a splendid night at the opera. But I did
get annoyed when Rautio seemed to be dragging Pendatchanska off pitch
during a couple of the ensembles.
And, although I'll grant that the overture was a tad Furtwanglerian, I
thought that Maestro Fricke did a fine job molding and pacing the music.
You could see the wonders of Mozart's architecture, feel the drama, and
savor almost every note from every player in the orchestra.
Abstract: the brothers Croft and Hong can sing Mozart for me any ol' time.
They did exemplary work. Most everyone else (with that one aforementioned
exception) was very good indeed.
There are a lot of people on this List who might qualify for the job
announced in the post which follows below my .sig. I got the message from
another list; I know nothing of the Benton Foundation except that it seems
to be trying to support white hat work on the Net and in new media.
[log in to unmask]
>Sender: The Up for Grabs Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
>From: Anne Green <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Job Announcment: Open Studio Writer/Researcher
>The Benton Foundation is seeking a Writer/Researcher for Open Studio: The
>Arts Online, a million-dollar funding initiative with the National Endowment
>for the Arts to get more arts and culture online. We hope to fill this
>position as soon as funding becomes available, which could be as early as
>the beginning of April.
>The following is a job description. We are seeking to hire someone to work
>here in our DC office as soon as possible. Please feel free to share the
>enclosed information. If you know of someone in particular who may be
>interested please encourage them to contact us.
>Thank you for your time and consideration, and feel free to call me at
>202/638-5770 or email me at [log in to unmask], if you have any additional
>questions about the project or the position.
>The Benton Foundation seeks an individual with strong organizational and
>communication skills for a position for Open Studio: The Arts Online, a
>million dollar joint effort between Benton and the National Endowment for
>the Arts, that serves as a laboratory for the exploration of the tools and
>techniques aimed at arts and cultural organizations as they prepare for the
>networked environment of the next century. Position is located in
>Researching general trends in arts and technology and public access to
>Researching and compiling methods used to build organizational capacity
>through technology and online publishing
>Compiling research results for online and print publication
>Compiling training materials developed by Open Studio participants for
>online and print publication.
>Assisting Project Manager in development activities of the Project by
>compiling information and writing final reports to foundations.
>Assisting Project Manager in communication to National Advisory Board by
>coordinating mailings, and electronic or person-to-person meetings
>Education, Skills, and Qualifications
>Strong writing, verbal communication and presentation skills. One to three
>years of professional experience researching and writing in the arts and/or
>training in technology. Knowledge of arts issues and new technologies such
>as the World Wide Web are required, as well as familiarity with World Wide
>Web site development. Ability to work effectively and efficiently under
>pressure, but be comfortable with creating one's own working routine.
>Ability to work well with a wide variety of groups and individuals.
>We offer a competitive, negotiated salary, commensurate with experience.
>Excellent benefits, including full health and dental insurance, four weeks
>vacation a year, 403(b) plan, and opportunities for professional development.
>Send or fax resume, cover letter, and salary requirements as soon as
>possible to Open Studio Search, Benton Foundation, 1634 Eye Street NW, 11th
>Floor, Washington DC 20006. Fax: 202-638-5771. Email: [log in to unmask]; put
>Open Studio Search in subject line. No phone calls, please.
>The Benton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.