Member since Aug 1, 2010


Old and Retired. 'nuff said. full gray beard. so no one notices my bald spot.


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PNW Apple Harvest

Updated on October 1, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Two Kinds of Opera

In reference to Ned Lannamann's review of the Portland Opera and BodyVox's presentation of Pagliacci and Carmina Burana.

Since any public performance is open to the audience's interpretation, I am sharing my interpretation since your review did not convey the sub-text of the tie in between the two operatic opuses (no doubt due to your editor's heavy handed fitting your review into available space.)

Pagliacci, ends with death. Carmina Burana opens with with the murdered bodies of the lead soprano's character's Nedda (Emily Pulley) and Silvio (Marian Pop, Baritone) lying on the floor. As the choir and orchestra proclaim the woes of fortune have befallen, the audience is introduced to the production's linking of the two short operas. Without changing any of the libretto of Carmina Burana, and using only stagecraft and body movement, the choreographers (Ashley Roland, James Hampton) have the two lovers shed their worldly clothing, and thus their mortal shells. The set of the worldly life of the two deceased lovers is removed, a moon shaped ball is lowered, and the symbolic Tree Of Life, rises into the air, and becomes suspended to show the halting of time. The judgment of the two souls has begun.

The character Nedda is now dressed in white, along with her doppelganger (and maybe her judgment advocate?) while Silvio is dressed all in black as is his doppelganger. Don't forget Silvio did break one of the big No-Nos in seducing a married woman, one of the big “Thou Shall Not...” which we should considered as carved in stone, as it were.

Don't let me confuse anyone! Normally there is no link between the two operas, but BodyVox and the conductor ( John DeMan) and Stage Director (Christopher Mattaliano) has added by stage direction and dance the link by offering the judgment on the souls of Nedda and Silvio.

While time is suspended, and the audience is presented with the seasons of the abruptly ended lives (Spring, summer, early fall) and the phases of moon (Full, Waning, New, Waxing, and Full again) presented by stagecraft and dance. In this background the former lives of Nedda and Silvio are weighed against the mortal sins standards, not in terms of absolutes, but in context with living a life full of life.

The doppelgangers present the action, while the two lovers give voice as soloist. Youthful Lust and Gluttony (roasted swan and drink) were easy to spot. Less obvious to spot was anger and envy. Sloth I am less certain about; I am guessing it was the song in part IV, “The Court of Love” where the woman is debating conceding to her lover's ardent sexual advances which nature having its way would result in pregnancy and thus the trials and efforts of motherhood. If she remains a virgin, sloth wins out. But that is just a guess on my part. Feel free to add your own insights onto males who dump the full toils of parenthood on to their mates and the judgment of sloth upon their lazy souls.

Carmina Burana ends with the revival of the tribute to the goddess Fortuna, Empress of the World of Fortune, we see Silvio, dressed in black bidding farewell to his lover, Nedda, dressed in white; their doppelgangers bidding farewell also. Silvio is dragged, or pulled, to his punishment, while Nedda is escorted to her reward. As the two principals disappear, the chorus advances to the front of the stage, the tree of life is returned to its upright position, the moon is restored to the sky, and time for the audience is resumed.

The Stage is in the now filled by the choir, the choir's musical voice fills the auditorium, the orchestra is at full fortissimo, all of which assaults the senses of the audience with sound and vibration, (if I may metaphorically characterize as boxing us about the ears) with the warnings that we too, who witnessed this cautionary tale, should take heed, for thee and thou shall also be judged.

Oh, and BTW, that most insidious of the mortal sins and its three parts: Pride, Hubris, and Vainglory. Just how does one not run afoul of this when one seduces another who is already in a committed relationship? The shadow of this most vile mortal sin by Silvio darkens the heart of the beautiful and presumably previously innocent Nedda, so when the worshipful hunchback and simpleton Tonio (Mark Rucker, baritone) proclaimed his infatuation, Nedda's response is heartless and cruel. Even if she later confesses and repents in prayer, her sin of pride in her disdain of his innocent proclamation, her merciless and callous rebuke of Tonio, so filled him with rage he informs the husband of Nedda's infidelity and faithlessness. Thus setting up the dual murder and the finial lines of Pagliacci, “La commedia è finita!” (The play has ended.)

However, this was just an operatic presentation of mythology which was extremely well performed. And what does complex mythology have to do with us? It is just entertainment, isn't it?

Posted by PhilinMontavilla on 10/01/2010 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Savage Love

Have you ever tried, (er, excuse me, watched a woman enjoy) a cannoli?

Those East Coast wonder of crisp hard outer shell of about 5 to 6 inches long tube, and about a genteel ladies light grasp wide, with a thick savory cream center. A special treat that should be licked and savored as the lady gently passes the Italian desert through her firm and enclosing lips, past glazing, oh so gently glazing, and teasing teeth. Then with a combination of lavash tongue motion and mild sucking slowly extract the cream filling onto the tongue and down the throat. Repeat until only a husk of the shell remains, then watch as the husk collapses in total release and joy.

(Note: If the lady uses too much firm teeth on the outer part in the early stages of enjoyment, the desert prematurely collapses!)

Dan, I recommend the Pastry Girl's Cannoli out on SE Stark, in Montavilla, near the Academy Theater. A treat for discrete ladies.

Posted by PhilinMontavilla on 08/01/2010 at 2:02 AM

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