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November 20, 1971 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-11-20

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ge Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, November 20, 1971

L ge Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday'. --oIevv.rsfI 1971

Mozart's

Flute'

sparkles

Cassandra Gerstein's
TALES
Originally scheduled for Tues.,
Nov. 16, and in double-bill with
VALI, Sat., Nov. 20, will not be
shown at this time.

By JOHN HARVITH
Ann Arbor's hopes for a perm-
nent resident opera company
received a boost last night as
the University's music school
and the art department pre-
sented their new production of
Mozart's "The Magic Flute" in
Mendelssohn Theatre.
The miraculous musical re-
sults wrought by conductor Josef
Blatt would have enthralled
opera -lovers confronted with
haphazard Mozartian conglom-
erations regularly served up by
such renowned houses as the
Metropolitan. I n s t e a d of the
Met's usual rushed, nerveless
orchestral strivings with gener-
ally out - of - kilter vocalizing,
Blatt led his musical forces in
one of the most cohesive, yet
flexible, readings of the "Flute"
heard since the legendary 1936
Beecham performance.
The conductor's totally inte-
grated musical ensemble re-
vealed the master Mozartian's
knowledge of how to allow in-
strumental lines to breathe and
sing naturally without ever
slackening in tension and con-
tinuity. The production's musi-
cal orientation was exemplified
by the absence of any vocal up-
staging by the singers. A few of
the vocalists were outstanding
such as Karen Hunt's secure
and hauntingly shaded "Ach, ich
fuehls," and Edmund Toliver's
warm, human, and eminently
musical handling of Sarastro's
arias. However, the combined
effect of voices and orchestra
predominated. Even the showy
"Queen of the Night" a r i a s
emerged as chamber music.

Unfortunately, the stage di-
rection and sets were not on the
same exalted plane as the mus-
ical preparation. Somehow the
g n a r l e d Black Forest trees
framing the stage did not seem
highly evocative of a n c i e n t
Egypt. Moreover, the constant
shifting of tableaux via slide
projector became tiresome and
even comical at times. (Imagine,
for instance, the interior of a
masonic temple modeled after
da Vinci's Last Supper!)
Most disturbing, however, were
the "Laugh-In" type antics of

Papageno, and the awkward
stage movement of the singers.
The audience was nearly roll-
ing in the aisles as a chorus of
priests paraded on stage with
pseudo-herald trumpets, setting
them down like so many plumb-
ers with a life-time supply of
plungers, and then "blowing"
them in unison with the or-
chestra.
Other dramatic hindrances
cropped up as the plot line un-
folded. Thus, no one bothered
to tell Tamino, the princely

hero, that he was playing a
magic flute, not an enchanted
clarinet or recorder. The three
"boys" assigned to guard Tam-
!no looked like a cross between
a trio of Buster Browns and
some Flash Gordon spacewo-
men.
These dramatic problems could
have been easily cleared up had
the characters taken themselves
seriously in their roles, instead
of hamming them up (Papa-
geno) or acting' perfunctorily
solemn (the Priests).
With a combination of more
tasteful, imaginative and accu-
rate sets and costuming and
dramatically convincing acting
on the part of the singers, this
"Magic Flute" could have been
meaningful theater. The vocal-
instrumental ensemble was so
incandescent, however, that the
overall musical effect was still
overwhelming.

Hear a Tape of
a Live Interview
with Godard
Before Each
Film at 7 and 9

I I : , I

I

'U'4 4 ~a it#Calendar

I

-Daily-Robert Wargo
TINA TURNER and the Ikettes let it all loose in last nights's concert at Crisler Arena. (See tomor-
row's Daily for review.)
SwIngle Singers: The newuvz z

By DONALD SOSIN
"ver since the Swingle Singers
ne into being, the pop music
rld has not quite been the same.
eir first album, "Bach's Great-
Hits" was the beginning of a
olution. Taking keyboard and
trumental works by Bach, Ward
ingle, an American classically-
ined musician, created a jazz
nd that went over with both
ssical and pop fans. He used
t (do-be-do-wah) syallables,
ed bass and drums, and pro-
ced a viable type of music which
ers were quick to imitate. But
st of them lacked the virtuos-
and extremely good taste of
Swingle Singers.
he group, composed-except for
Ingle-of French vocalists, and
:me bassist and drummer, con-
ues to be tops in its field. Their
ertoire expanded to include
antic and contemporary works,
luding the much d is c u s s e d
'nfonia" by Luciano Berio, writ-
i for them.

Last hight they sang for the
first time in Ann Arbor, under the
auspices of the University Musical
Society, and a sellout audience
greeted them warmly.
Their program began with Bach,
moved into other Baroque works,
and finished with an assortment
of American and Spanish selec-
tions. Having heard a superb per-
formance of theirs several years
ago, I must confess being some-
what disappointed. The ! s o u n d
system, which had been set up
hurriedly, could not reproduce
their voices with the consistent
clarity, and in really loud, high
passages, there was much distor-
tion. (Their recordings suffer from
this also, but in a live situation,
one exuects better.)
In addition, several of the mem-
bers seemed to be straining, not-
ably the lead soprano, Christiane
Legrand. The group's success has
been partially dependent on her
lyric, clear voice; in numerous
solos, and in the first half espec-

RC Players
SHAW: OVERRULED
ANOUILH: CECILE
75c

ially, it seemed as though she was
having a rough time getting some
high notes out.
But as the program progressed,
these problems were ironed out,
and the group loosened up to pro-
duce some lovely moments. These
included the Mozart Sonata in C
Major, the Variations on Ah! Vous
dirais-je Maman, Sarasate's Ro-
manza Andaluza, and Albeniz' Se-
villa. The Pavane pour une infante
defunte of Ravel was delicate and
refined, and a high point of the
program.
In spite of the aforementioned
flaws, it was great to watch them
sail in and out of the intricate
contrapuntal lines of the masters
with spirit and verve. The audience
was obviously with them, and the
ensemble graciously provided two
encores by Bach to draw the eve-
ning to an enjoyable close.
MARX
and
COCA-COLA
at
SATURDAY NIGHT
MASCULIN-
FEMININ
dir. Jean - Luc Godard,
1966. A collection of
Godardian techniques:
extraordinary innovation
of f o r m following the
premises of Godardian
structure
with
Jean-Pierre Leaud
(who is extraordinary)
and
Chantal Goya
ARCHITECTURE
AUDITORIUM
7:00 and 9:05 75c

Film-
Fifth Forum
"Sunday, Bloody Sunday," 5, 7, 9, and 11 *
"The World of Hans Christian Andersen," 2 p.m.*
Alley Cinema
"Cat Ballou," 7 and 9:30*
Cinema II, Angell Hall, Auditorium A
Bob Dylan's "Don't Look Back," 7 and 9*
Michigan Theatre
"Play Misty for Me," 1,3,5,7 and 9*
State Theatre
'200 Motels," 1,3,5,7 and 9*
Campus Theatre
"Helstrom Chronicle," 7 and 9*
Concerts-
Mendelssohn Theatre
Mozart's "The Magic Flute," 8 p.m.*
Exhibits-
Lantern Gallery
Graphics by Denise Rene and Victor Vasarely, 10 to 5, Tues-
day through Saturday until Dec. 24
*denotes events for which admission is charged

0

IF YOU THINK EUROPE
WAS CHEAP THIS SUMMER,
YOU SHOULD SEE IT THIS WINTER.

film critic 0
social critic
revolution
ary 0 Jean-Luc
Godard 4 Cinema
Guild this
week 0 Nov. 22

U of M Folklore Society
invites you to
truck 'nsdown to a
WORKSHOP p
by RAY BIERL
and STEVE NEWHOUSE
(from Buddies in the Saddle)Tw si
~i The workshop will
concern itself with 0
Diesel Ditties
ottheArk
1421 Hill
SATURDAY--2 P.M.

jV

ommummmommommi

I

I

lI

East Quad Aud.
8:00 P.M.

Thurs.-Sat.
Nov. 18-20

i

ENDING
WEDNESDAY

DIAL 8-6416
Shows TODAY
At 1-3-5-7-9

"it is a trip much worth taking. Not since '2001' has a movie
so cannily inverted consciousness and altered audience percep-
tion." -Time Magazine

IHELLSTROM CHRONICLl I
NEWSPAPERS ... FRIEND
-'. '~ OF THE
*_ CONSUMERS

'I

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ARM/Michigan Film Society presents

one night -only
in Color
Val
The Witch of Positano
A color cinema-verite documentary of Vali Myers, a young woman
who went from being a "chick" in the Existentialist scene in post-
war Paris to become a witch in the hills above Positano, Italy.
"... Vali is a creature of whimsey having dressed herself in her colorful rags,
and having pointed her face heavily, she may either break into dance, go
off howling with the wolves, indulge in a bit of witchcraft, brew a batch of
love potion, or moan some strange incantations . . . ultimately she is irre-
sistable, so authentic are her feelings and her happiness."
---L.A. TMES

OiN,
. 1 I

I

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