Posts Tagged ‘BAM’
Thomas Adès’ Powder her Face is now almost twenty years old, and the composer, now 42, has only strengthened his spell on audiences, organizers, and musicians. We have grown accustomed to trusting Mr. Adès to deliver works that are not only cleverly and soundly constructed, but also emotionally absorbing and rewarding in a way representative of the representative trends in music today. My neighbor at BAM warned me that this would not be The Tempest and that I should not expect to find maturity in the opera. Adès was in fact 24 when Powder her Face received its premiere at the Cheltenham Festival. As I looked and listened, the opera seemed a model of precocious maturity in comparison with the Pythonesque production it received from Jay Scheib, who is in fact Adès’ senior by two years.
The Bridge Project’s Richard III, by William Shakespeare, with Kevin Spacey, at BAM…with a backward look at the Donmar Warehouse King Lear
This production of Shakespeare’s Richard III has reached BAM after a sold-out run at the Old Vic and a tour which included Epidavros, Istanbul, Naples, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and San Francisco, among others. This reminded me of the sort of thing the British Council does, but of course this Shakespearian globe-trotting was a private enterprise, funded largely by Bank of America and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. And course the whole point of the production’s parent organization, The Bridge Project, was to combine British and American casts. Perhaps there should be an organization beyond the British Council to cultivate, study, and promote the global English language, as it used on the streets and in literature around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, Guyana, and others. And the way English is behaving in the physical and cyber-world today, it may need some international body to encourage it in good manners, kicking it under the table, when it starts to monopolize the conversation.
It occasionally strikes me, to my own bemusement, that walking along a street on an average day, I might have in my pockets as many as three devices capable of recording pictures, even moving pictures, and perhaps two for recording sound. Modern technology has given ordinary people—anyone—an unprecedented ability to make precise literal records of what can be heard and seen at any given time and place. Using a device smaller than my hand I can create a seamless journal of sound, text, still images, and movies, if I choose, but I refrain. I rarely put these capabilities to use—only if there is something extraordinary…like the bizarre Australian accent of a tour guide on the Palatine last year, as he spun absurdities to his rapt crowd. (I wasn’t fast enough…) I am wary of these literal records. Are they the death of memory? Even during my undergraduate years, when the goings-on had every appearance of memorable times, I eschewed keeping a diary, taking notes, or even taking pictures. If I ever wrote about those times, I wanted to write from memory, with all its confusions and conflations, believing that someone else would be keeping an accurate chronicle of events to rescue me, if I needed it.
The Comedy of Errors By William Shakespeare Propeller Directed by Edward Hall BAM Harvey Theater With Richard Clothier, John Dougall, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Sam Swainsbury, Richard Frame, Jon Trenchard, Robert Hands, David Newman, Wayne Cater, Thomas Padden, Dominic Tighe, Kelsey Brookfield, Tony Bell, Chris Myles To revisit The Comedy of Errors is to marvel at Shakespeare’s [...]
The Nightingale and Other Short Fables by Stravinsky, directed by Robert Lepage, Brooklyn Academy of Music
The Nightingale and Other Short Fables By Igor Stravinsky Conducted by Johannes Debus Directed by Robert Lepage BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, co-produced with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opera national de Lyon, and Netherlands Opera, in collaboration with Ex Machine, NYC With Adam Luther, Lothar Odinius, Peter Barrett, Ilya Bannik, Olga Peretyatko, Laura Albino, Neil Craighead, [...]
John Gabriel Borkman by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Frank McGuinness Directed by James Macdonald Abbey Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC With Fiona Shaw, Joan Sheehy, Lindsay Duncan, Cathy Belton, Marty Rea, Amy Molloy, Alan Rickman, John Kavanagh Arguably one mark of an exceptional production of a classic play is its ability [...]
The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare A Bridge Project production at BAM, directed by Sam Mendes Simon Russell Beale – Leontes, King of Sicily Michael Braun – Dion, Lord of Sicilia/Florizel Morven Christie – Perdita/Mamillius Sinéad Cusack – Paulina, wife to Antigonus Richard Easton – Old Shepherd/Time Rebecca Hall – Hermione Josh Hamilton – [...]
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov A new version of the play by Tom Stoppard Directed by Sam Mendes The Bridge Project, a Co-production of BAM, The Old Vic, and Neal Street Productions Harvey Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, January 2, 2009—March 8, 2009 Ranevskaya – Sinéad Cusack Anya – Morven Christie Varya [...]