..this past week I presented the program Crossing A Barrier of Footlights, in which I spoke of Madame Lillian Evanti, the National Negro Opera Company and Mary Cardwell Dawson. …the second session, which took place at the Georgetown Library, was attended by students from the Filmore School, an arts curriculum public school. These students were eager and sharp as tacks; their questions were engaged and inquisitive; the adult audience that attended, responded to these students with delight and encouragement.
Incorporated into the WNO/Kennedy Center/DC Public School “Creating Opera” program, is a presentation of an operatic work, out of the WNO season, which is reduced to a one hour, kid friendly, bite size performance. This year’s presentation is Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte –an operatic jewel, refracting a dissection of characters; a comedy, and a six hander: 2 sisters, their 2 lovers, a rumpled philosopher, and a maid.
Classes have begun; public schools and DC colleges. And, luckily, I find myself engaged in dealings with both! Last week I gave an introductory lecture on Tosca to the incoming class of Stanford in DC, an opera they are going to see at the Kennedy Center this Friday evening. ..the class had started the morning touring, visiting monuments, and the Mall, and being given a succinct orientation in neighborhoods and institutional layouts. I wanted to start the talk with some trivia; some delicious entry into the ’suspension of disbelief’ the art form requires..
..the compass of dangerous love is perfect ground for opera.. Here are some glorious moments, skirting imminent betrayal, or self destruction.. Dalila's seduction..
Leonora pleads with the Count de Luna to free her imprisoned lover.. The Count, agreeing, is deceived, as Leonora, taking poison, knows that he will only have victory over a corpse..