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October 06, 1979 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily-
WO W, WHA T A VOICE:
La Stupenda shines
beginning that serve to whet the
for her international reputation, the listeners' appetite for the spicy entree
By JOSHUA PECK remarkably deep, dark, veiled wash of to follow, she could best win the atten-
They call her La Stupenda, and what sound she produces, is getting lusher tion and reverence of the Hill,
transpiredat Hill Auditorium Thursday and more mysterious still as the years Auditorium crowd by offering as
night, indeed, often was stupendous. progress. staples the staid, Baroque works (even
Tangutherland has a mafisteria ner- With the help of a craftily organized Dalila's earnestly seductive aria "With

-Saturday, October 6, 1979-Page 5

sonal manner that pervades virtually
her every moment on stage. She con-
jures up such an aesthetically'elevated
ambience that when, during an encore,
she forgot the words, the audience
members' reaction was a mixture of
laughter and gasps. As if the singer's
extrabrdinary gifts had them convinced
that she was incapable of any merely
human behavior.
La Stupenda is 58 years old now, and
has begun to lose some of the
astonishing skills that made her the
giantess of the opera world that she is.
But that her highest note Thursday was
a high C, rather than the F to which she
once customarily ascended, and that
those difficult little trills and runs
sound a trifle more labored these days
than they did 15 years ago, are not mat-
ters of concern to the soprano's myriad
admirers. If anything, the prime reason

program, Sutherland had the audience
in the palm of her hand virtually all
evening long. She opened with three
pieces from operas and an oratorio by
Handel that were pretty enough, but
had neither the melodic intricacy of the
Rossini pieces that were to follow, nor
the vivid Italian zest of the crowd-
pleasing Verdi aria that rounded out the
first half of the program. The Handel
pieces are works that could be done
adequately by almost any run-of-the-
mill soprano. There are no difficult lit-
tle runs of sixteenth notes to make her
worshippers swoon, few pitches oitside
the customary opera soprano's range,
not much in the way of romantic orien-
tation, or dramatic dynamic variation.!t
But the lady is no fool. She knows
that, just as the wise composer will of-
ten build an aria slowly, with attractive
but undemanding passages at the

plaintive notes" sounds bottled up and
restrained). When Sutherland moved
into the four delightfully expressive
Rossini songs, to the excited rustlings
of the audience, her voice could be
heard to do what providence intended.
She seemed to run -- nay, to dance -
alongside the music, marking the
melodies with unearthly agility, soun-
ding each of eight consecutive
hemidemisemiquavers with stunning
clarity and distinction. Particularly
beautiful were "La Promessa" and
"L'Orgia," both by virtue of the com-
positions themselves, and the soprano's
utter absorption in her art. Though I am
bereft of any knowledge of Italian, I
would venture to guess that the English
word "orgy" is one of those very
similar to its Italian equivalent,
judging fror the rapturous rendition
Sutherland delivered of the final ariet-
ta.
The highlight of the first half of the
program was certainly the recitative
and aria "Ernani, involami" from Ver-

di's Ernani. Though she sounded a bit
careless on some of the higher runs,
most of the aria echoed with technique
and tone color that reached heights of
almost unbearable beauty. Certain
moments, wherein Sutherland projec-
ted the notes of an arpeggio passage
sweetly into the second balcony despite
their brief staccato duration, were ones
that may remain ringing in the audien-
ce's collective ears for months, even
years to come.
Until her voice began to show signs of
fatigue in the middle of her second en-
core, Sutherland's second act was
without exception masterly. Her vocal
agility was again the featured player,
as she jumped octave intervals
gracefully and cleanly, but as naturally
as most of us converse about the
weather. The lengthy, dreamy aria
"Ah! non credea mirarit" from
Bellini's La Sonnambula (The Sleep-
walker) was the finest selection,
featuring 'sustained notes of such
sorrowful intensity that one found
oneself involuntarily gasping at the
magnificence of it all.
Tenor Luciano Pavarotti once
described his sound as being brown in
color, meaning to suggest its richness
and mystery. Joan Sutherland has that
quality in common with him, but her
voice could better be described as
maroon of hue, for on top of the sheer
technical brilliance of her voice, she is
blessed with a brilliant, scarlet
femininity, by no means subservient,
but passionate, strong.. . and stupen-
dous.

CINEMA GUILD

Woody Allen's 1975
LOVE AND DEATH
The Love Song of Allen Stewart Konigsberg to every Russian novel or
movie you ever heard about but were afraid to ask for. Scrawny, draft-
dodging Lepidopterist is scorned y his beautiful Russian cousin-until he
plots to assassinate Napoleon. With DIANE KEATON.
Short: HOLD ME WHILE I'M NAKED (George Muchar-1966) Fianced with
unemployment checks and populated by the semi-nude, this film goes beyond
the erotic into the world of the super-neurotic.

TONIGHT AT
7:00 & 9:.5

OLD ARCH AUD
$1.50

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Before you begin reading, a disclaimer from the editors:
We found him in the Daily washroom one day, on his
hands and knees, clutching a pencil and a pad of looseleaf.
He said he wanted to write. He said he enjoyed graffiti.
What were we supposed to do?
Roger Pensman has become a rumor in his own time.
Not listed in the University's Student Directory or the Ann
Arbor phone book, he refuses to give out any personal in-
formation. He mails in his columns, refusing to come to
the Daily office.
The Pensman mystique is building. People have repor-
ted reading graffiti referring to Pensnan in stalls in Tap-
pan Hall, the Art and Architecture Building and Moe's
Sports Shop, as well as some tiny inscription on the dome
of the University observatory which all end ". . . qui est hic
Pensman?". People have named gerbils and kittens after
Pensman, and "Nuke the Whales" t-shirts have been sited.
So, anyway, what you see below is this year's model of
Nuke the Whales. If you like it we'll accept all your praise;
if youdon't, well, he wrote it and brought it in... what
were we supposect t&d?
IT WAS WITH NO small degree of surprise that I learned
last week that school had once again begun, and that I was
expected to resume the burden of nine-to-five journalism, pur-
suing the graffiti beat for yet another semester. And what a
pleasure it is to be back, I might add. A long summer of graffiti
research has reinforced my opinions that there's no place like
Ann Arbor. New York has some fascinating subways, to be sure,
but the writings are a bit too arcane for the outsider; beautiful
nearby Detroit has as much scrawling as usual, none of it in-
teresting. Even a special junket to Harvard University, the
Michigan of the East, revealed little of value, although it was
reassuring to see that posters on Harvard dorm bulletin boards
contain as many misspellings as those in any of the Quads.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, I'd like to extend a special welcome
to all the freshmen (including female students; native speakers
of English eschew "freshpesons," "freshwomen," etc.), along
with the friendly advice that "lose," as in "Michigan should not
lose to Michigan State," is never spelled "loose.'' "Loose" is a
different word, and it is depressing to see the graffiti at an in-
stitution like this marred by such silly errors.
As for this year's graffiti, well, the jury's still out. The
ravages of summer maintenance have left bathrooms and
carrels barren, and not until all the leaves fall and the Diag is
free of Sorority and Fraternity banners will it be possible to
evaluate fairly the new offerings.
Still, there is early promise. In East Quad (where leftover
hippies still practice birth control through tarot cards) one for-
ward-looking scribbler has proclaimed The kids aren't even
here yet and already the walls -are covered with writing,
covering an entire wall in the process. The venerable Free Mar-
tin Sostre goes into its tenth yer en East University. Various
nationalities are already starting to have it out on the walls of
the MLB. And of course, the Harlan Hatcer Graffiti Palace
continues to amaze and delight the afficionado; a few minutes
search culled the following from the south wing carrels:
"*A religious debate which concludes ... but where would we
Christians be if Christ hadn't been crucified? It was followed by
That's easy. We'd all be Jews. Then, We would all live in New
York. Finally, We'd all love our mothers just a little bit more.
*'Pithy one-liners such as Down with sex, Gerald ± Betty,
9/21/33, Annex Mexico, and, my personal favorite, Nuke Me.
Betty
" Many limericks, including There once was a girl named
Alice,... a poet named Blake, ... girl from Peru, and so on. All
were in bad taste; why not check them out in a spare moment?
Even the Diag itself, though it may never again display the
Greek alphabet of Richard Robinson (Dr. Diag to the unwashed)
recently boasted a banner declaring war against alligator suits.
This is not exactly graffiti but it is good news, since real wall-
writers never wear alligator shirts.
Further good news is that the Roger T. Pensman softball
team (of which I am not a member) won its opening game last
week, 3-1. With such auspicious portents as these, it looks like a
good year ahead.
the Ann Arbor Film Cooerative Presents at MLB: $1.50
Saturday, October 6
TONIGHT FOR SURE
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1962) 7 only-MLB 3
A low-budget nudie feature from the director of THE GODFATHER and APO-
.,,AI V CC tnflIA A : I *1.. ( ...* . ..*.~.I. ...... ntnl nm nI,..nn ao

Oh. baby, baby!
Philip LeStrange and Mlary Spengler want everybody to know they don't
always dress like this; the occasion is a production of Robert Sherwood's
Idiot's Delight being put on as part of the University's Guest Artist Series.
LeStrange (he's the guest artist) and Spengler (sorry-she's just a student)
drink out of each other's glass in Sherwood's anti-war play. The whole thing
won a Pulitzer Prize way back when; you can see it October 17-21 at the
Power Center for the performing arts.

I

p-INE MA Il-=
presents
T'THE AMERICAN FRIEND 'C
(WIM WENDERS, 1977)
This tale of modern alienation and corruption by the German New Wave
director Wim Wenders follows the adventures of a dying man as he is
drawn into the underground world by crooked art dealers and European
gangsters. This sometime thriller pays homage to the American detective
film and to American directors with SAM FULLER and NICHOLAS RAY in
featured roles. Truly remarkable photography and color. Storring DENNIS
HOPPER as "the American friend," with BRUNO GANZ and LISA KRUEZER.
(127 min).
e l n h4b nn taken for new members

b

A pications ei g e OFre n~n
ANGELL HAALL $1.50 7:00& 9:15
Tomorrow: THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL

....._. .

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