Sunday, February 13, 2005

Arianna in Creta

Also known as Ariadne in Crete, an amazing opera by George Frideric Handel, currently enjoying a short run (February 10-18) at the Harry de Jur Playhouse on Grand Street. This past Saturday, me and Bouche Douce checked out this stunning, post-modern interpretation by New York's Gotham Chamber Opera company - which happens to be the American premiere of the 1733 opus.

A shorthand explanation is difficult to provide, but suffice it to say this production features a minotaur, two women playing male roles, a countertenor (i.e. falsetto) Frankenstein monster, and a very large pair of knitting needles.

After seeing BAM's Siroe, Re di Persia last spring (also a U.S. premiere), catching Theodora on the Trio cable station shortly thereafter, and now Arianna, I am a total convert to Handel's operatic works. Yes, his music is incredibly baroque, but I think that's what attracts me. There is something utterly satisfying about the cadenzas in his music - they feel almost mathematical in their precision.

Others might consider Handel too "plinky," but I now count myself a huge fan. Though my CD collection includes GG Allin, Motörhead, and Lou Reed's infamous Metal Machine Music, I plan on making more room for Handel.


Post a Comment

<< Home