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September 25, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-09-25

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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, September 25, 1977-


r til

Beverly 'bubbles'

at Hill

V Nit


Beverly Sills took everyone in Hill
Auditorium on a very special journey
with her Friday evening.
The journey took flight with her first
note. The crowd was hypnotized, but it
was Sills' imaginative combination of
musicianship and personality that
really took hold.
Sills' program included sacred songs
from the Classical era and earlier,
along with German operatic arias and
French love songs. Her wide variance
in selections couldn't help but appeal to
everyone in the audience.
The theatre was packed with a sell-

out crowd including devoted standing-
room-only patrons. She walked on stage
with a heart-warming smile. Needless
to say, it was returned by over 4,000
Emotions of every selectiongleame4
in her fine interpretation of each text.
Sills has a wonderful understanding of
the words and meanings of each piece,
and conveys them well, both musically
and technically.
Her musical schemes are carefully
devised. She takes the hand of her
audience through well-rounded
phrases, into and out of sensuous
crescendos and decrescendos. Each
statement has a clear beginning,

climax and end. Every single note has a
purpose when Beverly Sills sings, and
an extremely important purpose at
One patron commented during inter-
mission, "Her musicianship comes
On a larger musical basis, Sills takes
pride in always being headed toward a
goal. She leads her listeners forward,
always in anticipation of something
more exciting yet to come. Thus, her
music is never static nor frigid.
One of the finest coloratura voices
keeps Sills' music alive. Her program
included two of the most demanding
pieces of her repertoire (Let the Bright

Love of Lydia' lackluster


Sonatas at Raekham:
"Beethoven at its best

Maria Meirelles, solo pianist
Beethoven piano sonatas, part V
Sonata op. 22 in B-flat
Sonata op. 27 no.2 in c-sharp
Sonata op. 49 no. Iing
Sonata op. 49no.2inG
Sonata op. 101 inA
Even with the many widely-publi-
cized events that went on Friday night,
a fairly large crowd of Beethoven afi-
cionados gathered in Rackham
auditorium for the fifth recital by
Maria Meirelles of the 32 piano sonatas.
We were all very fortunate to experi-
ence a wonderful evening with a talent-
ed lady. The audience, from the begin-
iing, was warm, courteous, and as at-
tentive as any I have seen.
Meirelles began the evening with
what was probably her best perform-
ance, the Sonata op. 22 in B-flat. She
began the Allegro aggressively and re-
miained very much in command during
the rest of the piece. Her tempi were

constant and the dynamics excellent. In
a few passages some of the notes were
lost, and the sound got a bit mushy.
This was a minor problem, however.
The interpretation was exciting and it
was easy to get caught up in it. In the
Adagio her tone was beautiful - mel-
low, yet very clear. This tone effec-
tively expressed the feeling of the sim-
ple, contemplative melody. Meirelles
played the Menueto well, with very
good phrasing, and lost no notes in the
middle section where others have
The Rondo /is a good example of
Beethoven's experimentation in theme
development and is rather extended,
coming close to actually being in a vari-
ations form. The playing was precise
and authoritative, particularly on the
recapitulation. A great performance.
Sonata op. 27 no. 2 in c-sharp (Moon-
light), the best-known piece on the pro-
gram, was done nicely. The Adagio con-
tains one of the most famous melodies,
and Meirelles again has a beautiful
tone. The entire piece flowed very
See MARIA, Page 9

Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
Ann Arbor Civic Theater - Spofford, by Herbert
Shumin (excerpts)
School of Music Opera Theater - Ralph Herbert,
University of Michigan Dance Company - Polem-
ics 1977
Gilbert & Sullivan Society lolanthe, Princess Ida,
Gondoliers, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore,
Mikado (excerpts)
U-M Dance company - Amiboisme, from Celiule
Humaine 1871
Comic Opera Guild - Cox & dox by Gilbert and
The benefit revue "For the Love of
Lydia" opened Friday night with the
usual ups and downs expected of any
mixed-genre theatrical presentation.
The performances were given atand
for the benefit of the Lydia Mendels-
Sohn Theatre.
Piggy-backed on one another were
presentations of modern dance, boom-
ing baritone solos, a too short skit from
the comedy Spofford, a dazzling-but-
not-too-entertaining short revue by the
Gilbert & Sullivan Society and a lengthy
one-act comic opera. Well, the in-
dividual portions in the pot were tasty,
but the soup itself was missing a dash
or so of inspiration.
Two years away from its golden anni-
versary, the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre is in need of renovation, re-
storation and repair. Surely this
became all too apparent to both the
audience and the performers, as cold
and warm drafts circulated the build-
ing throughout the evening.
The list of what needs to be done to
"Lydia" includes improving the ven-
tilation system, heating and air-condi-
tioning systems, improving fire exits,
building handicap exits, repairing dres-
sing and costume rooms, as well as giv-
ing the old girl a good coat of paint.
All money collected for the show and
the sale of the "Love of Lydia" posters
go toward improving this jewel-box of a
theatre in the Michigan League. The
organizers and performers are donat-
ing their time and considerable talent
toward the success of the venture.
After a rather boring musical intro-
duction of the Overture from Patience
performed by the Gilbert and Sullivan
Society Orchestra, the program got off
to a fine footing with the very capable
actor John Stevens in the comedy

Stevens along with Joy Scarpuzza,
and the delightful Marie Gilson were
simply not allowed enough time on
stage. One did not get to see enough of
playwrite Herman Shumlin's comedy
and thus the substance of the play was
lost, along with not rationing the time
befitting the talents of the performers.
The only encoure of the evening was
requested of baritone Ralph Herbert
who, after a slow start with Some En-
chanted Evening, delighted the audien-
ce with his rich voice and engaging in-
The U-M Dance Company, in the per-
sons of Barbara Smith Kerwin, Elesa
Rosasco and Dale Madden, were, as al-
ways superb. Somehow they make all
the strains, clangs and bangs of "mod-
ern music" bearable and even compre-
Gilbert and Sullivan were neither as
trivial, nor as confusing as the Gilbert
and Sullivan Society. With a dazzling
hodge-podge of past performances at
Lydia, the G & S Society sometimes en-
tertained but remained largely chaotic
at least to this reporter.
If the Comic Opera Guild had not
been placed last on the bill they might
have been my favorite. But even the
considerable performances of Ronald
Orenstein and Gershom Clark Mor-
ningstar, "Cox and Box" seemed to
drag on a bit too long.'

Now, give us more of "Spofford," find
another place on the bill for "Cox and
Box" (maybe, have them change
places with the G & S Society), do some-
thing with the "Overture from 'Patien-
ce' " and Lydia will host a benefit per-
formance, well, almost as good as she
daffodils may be hazardous to your
health. These and many popular
flowers, ornamental shrubs and col-
orful weeds are poisonous, says
National Geogr-aphic.
Young children are particularly
vulnerable, but even adults often
become unthinking nibblers of poi-
sonous plants. "For many it's just
sort of an automatic thing to do,"
said one naturalist. "You snap off a
blade of grass or whatever and
absent-mindedly stick it in your
Commonplace plants like wisteria,
Carolina jasmine, azaleas, rhododen-
dron and even honeysuckle have
poisonous parts.

Seraphim from Handel's Samson a d
Una voce poco fa from Rossini's Barb r
of Seville).
Each piece was executed with h r
characteristic ease and grace. The to
was clear as glass. The scales we
light and crisp. The trills creeped
from nowhere to tingle many spines.
Most exhilarating about Sills' voice is
her enrapturing strength and power.
Whether a pianissimo sigh or a for-
tissimo climax, the support was defi-
nitely there. The hall was not only
packed with dazed listeners, but also by
an incredibly overwhelming, magical
One always hesitates to criticize such
a star, but Sills did lose control a few
times during the evening. Some ex-
tremely high, sustained pitches wob-
bled with a too-wide vibrato. The same
vibrato also interferred with her dic-
tion, the pronunciation of words. Even
so, it did not detract from the effective-
ness of her performance.
She did explain to the audience that
she had just overcome a bout of
laryngitis. Nonetheless, an unsteady
vibrato on occasional sustained notes
has hampered her in the past.
At one point, the audience chuckled
along with the star when she glanced
over at her accompanist, obviously im-
pressed with his pianistic virtuosity!
Charles Wadsworth, pianist, did a
See BEVERLY, Page 8
Orpheus in
the Underworld
Call 665-6074 TODAY
Comic Opera Guild

fall. art fair.,,
the artisits and craftsmen guild of the university of michigan
invites you to an exhibition of ceramics, fibers, graphics,
jewelry, paintings, and sculpture by 75 guild members.
grounds of community

Cooney 's easy style
charms Ark crowd

"I'm going to do a bunch of different
kinds of songs tonight," Michael
Cooney announced to his audience Fri-
day night at the Ark coffee house.
"They have two things in common. Fir-
st, I like them all, and second, you'll
probably never hear them on the
radio." With that he grinned and con-
tinued the first of what was to be three
sets of marvelous music interspersed
with moments of high comedy.
Cooney's performing style is hard to
match. He appears completely relaxed,
yet he was always ready with a quick
joke or two. He varies the pace fre-
quently, causing the evening to move
along peacefully at time, jog at other
times, and fly every now and then.
Cooney is talented enough on guitar,
banjo, fretless, banjo, jews harp, penny
whistle, kazoo, harmonica; and concer-
tna that he doesn't have to worry about
the musical part of the evening - that
comes naturally. This leaves him free
to work out of the amusement that sur-
rounds his music. Most importantly,,
however, Cooney seems to enjoy mak-
ing music just as much as the crowd
loves listening to it; he appears unable
to avoid bursting into a grin everytime
.he feels good.
"Nobody makes mistakes on televi-
sion - life is not like that," empha-
-sized Cooney early in his show. "I be-
.lieve in mistakes. It's O.K. - human
beings do that." This philosophy led to a
carefree, happy concert. At times Coon-
y would forget a line or two, but he
didn't let it faze him.
"A ballad is a song that tells a story,"
-informed Cooney. With banjo in hand,
he began a hilarious old tale, perform-
,ing it with the dead-pan face of a stand-
up comic. Cooney is able to produce an
unusual array of sounds on his han-
dmade fretless banjo. Old Joe Clark, a
.good, fast tune, sounded strangely ap-
.. ealing when played on this
remarkable instrument.
htil ''2 & 8 p.m.

"There's something up here making
love to my guitar," Cooney explaimed
when he picked up his guitar only to
find the stand was still attached. Later
on, he put a kazoo on his harmonica
holder and played a bizarre old college
tune from the Fred Waring Band. Be-
fore another song, Cooney promised,
"This has a wonderful, stirring
chorus," Before long, he had the crowd
"What do they make in Washington/To
give to all of the nation?
See MICHAEL, Page 8


art & craft classes
beginning Sept.26
u of m artists &
craftsmen guild
2nd floor
michigan union

high school, across
from the farmer's market saturday, oct. 1
in ann arbor $ a.m. to 6 p.m.,

sunday, oct. 2
12 to 6 p.m.

*1 * I

'I 'l






An original musical recalling vaudeville and memorable
star performances of New York City's famous Palace
SAT. OCT. 8-8:30 p.m.
SUN. OCT. 9-2 & 7p.m.
Tickets at $5 and $3
Box office at Michigan Theater
Mon.-Fri. 1-5
or call 665-8221 or 761-2247
the ann arrfilm cooperative
proudly presents
Sunday, September 25
Sam Fuller, the master of physically dynamic and robust images, the conscience
of American cinema in the 50's, a totally unique and vital imaginative force, is,
according to CAHIERS DU CINEMA, one of the three most important American
directors of the post-war period. "Fuller is an authentic American primitive
whose works have to be seen to be understood."-Andrew Sarris.
(Samuel Fuller, 1955) 7 ONLY-MLB 3
Fuller's kinetic energy and sense of humor is nowhere more evident than in this
spy film concerning double agents and the double cross. Set in Japan, it stars
w- .M. -t S a --


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