a fool in the forest

Epigraphs

  • A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the
        forest,
    A motley fool; a miserable world!
    As I do live by food, I met a fool
    Who laid him down and bask'd him
        in the sun,
    And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good
        terms,
    In good set terms and yet a motley
        fool.

    As You Like It,
    Act II, Scene 7

    L'homme y passe à travers des
        forêts de symboles
    Qui l'observent avec des regards
        familiers.

    Les Fleurs du Mal,
    “Correspondances”

    [T]here is almost no subject-matter, and what little one can disentangle is foolish....
    One would call the style verbose, except that by definition verbosity is the use of words in excess of the occasion, and there seems to be no occasion.

    Yvor Winters,
    Forms of Discovery, Ch. 7


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    « Please Bear With Me | Main | Beyond Gouda and Evian »

    June 22, 2006

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    » Sad Grendel Station from a fool in the forest
    A noticeable uptick in traffic to my posts (below and belower) on Elliot Goldenthal's opera Grendel serves to remind me that it is now playing out its brief run at Lincoln Center (closing Sunday). Having already devoted so much space [Read More]

    Comments

    meg

    I'm glad you found the time to post your thoughts -- I've been wondering what you would think.

    LY

    Enjoyed your intelligent and lucid comments re: Grendel. Just out of curiosity, did you have any difficulty with listening to a bass sing for the major part of the opera?

    Excerpt from my blog on Grendel:

    Although I enjoyed the dark themes and my personal vindication (I’m not the only one who empathizes with Grendel) I must admit I had trouble adjusting to hearing such a heavy voice predominate. I am much more accustomed to the traditional operatic canon in which tenors and sopranos prevail. I’m not criticizing the work; it is a thoughtful and unique rendering and appropriate for modern opera. However, I was listening to my own dark fugue and worried sick about my own little Grendel-monster at home.

    George Wallace

    Thanks for your comment, LY.

    To answer your question: I had no trouble at all with the dominance of Eric Owens' bass baritone, but that may be a matter of personal taste. My idiosyncratic view is that the most interesting roles in opera tend to be sung by baritones, basses and mezzos.

    I have less patience with tenors and particularly with high-end sopranos, especially in roles that are largely built on filigree and showiness. There are some great sopranos in this world, and some great soprano roles, but I personally consider them the exception rather than the rule; pretty much the same for tenors, though I think there are more and better roles for them than for the poor denizens of the Soprano Songbird Ghetto.

    So again, thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the opportunity to display my own oddities of taste.

    The comments to this entry are closed.