Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review to Follow: La Didone

I was just informed that I have, in fact, gotten a discounted ticket to see a, well, for lack of better words, something that promises to be an unusual performance.

The publicity materials say:

The Wooster Group returns to St. Ann's Warehouse with Cavalli / Busenello's baroque opera La Didone (1641), in which Aeneas, prince of Troy, lands on the shores of Africa after a violent sea storm. There he falls in love with Dido, queen of Carthage, and becomes entangled in a web of love, deception, power and madness. In Mario Bava's 1965 cult movie Terrore nello spazio, the spaceship Argos crashes on the planet Aura, and its crew becomes locked in a desperate battle with zombies over the all-important "meteor rejector."

The Wooster Group stirs these two Italian cultural artifacts together, dropping Aeneas' ships onto a forbidding planetary landscape, setting the lute alongside live electric guitar, blending acoustic and electronic space, and finding an unexpected synergy between early baroque opera and pre-moon landing sci-fi: A 21st-century retelling of an ancient tale about the destructive (and redemptive) power of erotic ­passion and the sheer tenacity of human nature in the face of annihilation.

I heard about this on NPR, and was intrigued, to put it mildly. This has all the potential to be hilariously awful, or, who knows, astonishingly good. With this sort of thing, one never knows until one tries it, I suppose. I will freely admit, however, that my tastes in this sort of thing are quite possibly more liberal than average. (One of the benefits, I suppose, of having grown up in the isolated manner in which I was raised is that one comes less expectation of what something should be, leaving one more open to enjoying what simply is. Of course, it also means a deficit of learning that also has to be filled, but it's easier to learn than it is to resist a habit, I find.)

The performance is next week, and I am anticipating it quite keenly. I will, of course, make a full report!

(For anyone who may be interested in the performance, it's currently running and will continue to run for a bit -- more details are available here: http://www.stannswarehouse.org/current_season.php?show_id=33 )

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