1012 Chapters
Medium 9781574415070

Bows, Backstage, and Bios

Robert K. Wallace University of North Texas Press PDF

Summers: “When the hook comes down for Ishmael at

Smith: “The Premiere per-

And the hook itself looks like a question mark.”

and the audience response

the end, it’s a wonderful metaphor for being lifted up.

Bows, Backstage, and Bios

Opening Night Bows

To tumultuous applause on opening night, with shredded programs being thrown from the top tiers of the opera

formance was incredible, that night was tremendous.

There was a closeness felt

by the entire cast as we bowed with Jake, Gene, and

Patrick. The feeling that night was unlike anything

I had ever experienced.”

house, the performers returned to the stage.

Rodgers: “This piece is the

most incredible production

I have ever had the privilege to be part of, after twenty-

five years in the business.

It was a ‘perfect storm’ of

cast, production, etc., and the opening night was one

I will never forget. It was

Chorus on deck and supers on platform as choral director

Alexander Rom bows. right, top: Exhausted Costello with chorus and supers. right, middle: The eight principal singers (from left): O’Neill, Trevigne, Smith, Heppner,

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5. Clap Your Hands!

de Jong, Nanette Indiana University Press ePub

5

The past continues to speak to us. But it no longer addresses us as a simple, factual “past.” —STUART HALL

A friend recently returned from a visit to Curaçao, eager to share his experiences. He had attended a folkloric show at his hotel, a program advertised as a dedication to the island’s representative musical rhythms. Taped music filtered out onto the outdoor pool-turned-stage, with a lone musician, a young boy, playing the wiri as accompaniment. A troupe of three couples performed a variety of dances, “including the Tambú!” my friend enthusiastically added. His description, however, recalled a comical drama involving two men vying for the affections of a single woman. At best, it was loosely reminiscent of the kokomakaku stick dance. One of the men danced with the woman, while the other paced the sidelines. Following several futile attempts at cutting into the dance, he left the stage, coming back moments later with a small stick, which he flung wildly about. Now armed, he managed to break the dancing couple apart, a victory, however, that was short-lived. His adversary, having briefly left the stage, returned with his own stick. Back and forth, the scene continued, with the men leaving, one by one, and returning each time with larger and larger sticks. Finally, at the song’s end, the men both appeared with machetes. The parody brought the audience to laughter, yet the concierge assured my friend that this was “a common practice in Tambú.” The evening ended with a fire-eating performance, which, too, was passed off as Curaçao custom. My friend’s testimony introduces yet another type of modern Tambú: the folkloric, and brings up interesting complexities regarding the appropriation (and misappropriation) of culture.

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Medium 9781574412666

XXX. Phoenix

Vince Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

  XXX 

Phoenix

“A

fter the Complete Works was done, I began to think a recording would in fact be possible,” says Hobart.

“I had a short list of producers in mind, with an eye to sensitivity to music and sensitivity to the artist. Sometimes you’ll trade one for the strength of the other, but that’s what I had in mind. Todd Rundgren,

Van Dyke Parks, Jim Rooney, Elliot Mazer, and T. Bone Burnett were a few. I was listening to T. Bone’s latest album and realized that the songs I thought were the best were coproduced by Bob Neuwirth, and that turned my focus to Bob. I’d met him once or twice in Los

Angeles with Peter Case and that ‘L.A. Folk School,’ as I call it—Case,

Soles, Steve Young. I was very glad Bob decided to do the project. I was glad, too, that Vince wasn’t lumped in with Nashville or something else recognizable. Vince is an individual before a style. Vince’s songs are not folk songs, they are art songs. And they are closer to

Jacques Brel than Woody Guthrie.”

Bob Neuwirth came to the Bay Area to record two songs he had chosen from my Complete Works. He chose “Frankenstein,” written by

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3. Spectacle and Authenticity in Miklós Rózsa’s Quo Vadis Score

Stephen C. Meyer Indiana University Press ePub

In “The Romans in Films”—one of the lesser-known feuilletons from the Mythologies collection—Roland Barthes turned his caustic wit on a seemingly inconsequential detail from Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Julius Caesar (1953): namely, the hair styles of the leading actors. In this film, he writes,

all the characters are wearing fringes. Some have them curly, some straggly, some tufted, some oily, all have them well combed, and the bald are not admitted, although there are plenty to be found in Roman history. . . . What then is associated with these insistent fringes? Quite simply the label of Roman-ness. We therefore see here the mainspring of the Spectacle—the sign—operating in the open. The frontal lock overwhelms one with evidence, no one can doubt that he is in Ancient Rome.1

Barthes places the omnipresent forelock in what he calls an “ethic of signs.” “Signs,” he continues,

ought to present themselves only in two extreme forms: either openly intellectual and so remote that they are reduced to an algebra, as in the Chinese theatre, where a flag on its own signifies a regiment; or deeply rooted, invented, so to speak, on each occasion, revealing an internal, a hidden facet . . . (as in the art of Stanislavsky, for instance). But the intermediate sign [such as the fringe] reveals a degraded spectacle, which is equally afraid of simple reality and of total artifice.2

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1 - Born a Drummer

Chris Smith, John Mosca and John Riley University of North Texas Press ePub

Mel Lewis loved to sit in his living room at 325 West End Avenue #2C and listen to music. He sat in that room and listened for hundreds of hours, usually in the company of a young musician who intently absorbed his entertaining stories of the music business, life on the road, and the wide range of musicians he had worked with. When relaxing in his favorite lounge chair it was typically the music that encouraged Mel's stories of the past, and more importantly, sparked his excitement for the future. At only fifty-eight-years old Mel was a living jazz legend, one who still played drums every Monday night with his band at the Village Vanguard. He loved to talk about future musical projects, his band's next album, politics, or the New York Giants' upcoming season. However, by 1989 his four-year battle with cancer often forced him to silently reflect on the decades of music that defined his career. Mel cared about his legacy and hoped that his musical accomplishments would not be forgotten. “I'd like to leave a mark. I'd like fifty years from now for people to say that Mel Lewis was a pioneer in a way. I'd like to have had my share of doing something important for music,” he said.1 The desire to preserve his story led him to begin writing a memoir, which he aptly titled “The View from the Back of the Band.” Mel was only able to complete several pages before passing away in February of 1990; however, the pages that he did complete offer remarkable insight into his thoughts and memories. There could be no more fitting way to begin this book than printing Mel's unfinished personal memoir for the very first time:

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