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November 17, 1976 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-11-17

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Ars & E ter a nmn Wednesday, November 17, 1976 Page Five

lKen Parsigian
IT WAS HALF-TIME during the Michigan-Illinois game, and
since we were out of wine, and tired of the band, the con-
versation turned to Bridge. Next to me sat Greg, a friend I had
taught the game just four months ago, and who said he had just
finished reading Clyde Love's famous work, Bridge Squeezes}
'Tm ready for anything now," he boasted. "I'm even as
good as you!" ;
I told him that he wasn't setting his sights very high, hoping
just to be as good as I, and I also tried to convince him that
good declarer play involved a lot more than just fancy squeeze
plays. But my comments fell on deaf ears.
"IM PLAYING in a club tournament tonight," he said, "ando
I'd like you to kibitz your star pupil in action."
I consented, and we were off to the club.
The first eight or nine boards were fairly unexciting, and
Greg handled them efficiently. Then this hand came up:
4 6 5S
A K Q 6

'Mriett .
the many uncomplimentary remarks I
overheard while leaving Power Center after
Friday nights performance of Naughty Ma-
rietta. Usually an ,advocate for the under-
dog, f could find no justification for the
half-hearted attempt at Victor Herbert's
delightful operetta I had just witnessed, and
was compelled to agree with this outspoken
and astute observer. The performance was,
ina dword, dreadful.
The problems the operetta suffered under
were multitudinous, running the whole
gamut from inept staging to poor singing.
The great casualty of the performance was
Cyril Ritchard, whose talents were wasted'"
in a sea of chaos. Apparently the venerable
Mr. Ritchard has, in the twilight of his
career, chosen to follow "the way to dusty
death" by stooping to participate in such
an undistinguished production.
As the product of any stage event is
mainly the responsibility of its director, I
think it is fair to place the blame for this
disaster on Robert Cumming. Cumming's.
direction was not only unimaginative, but it
also reflected a basic ignorance of the art
of staging. Since the orchestra and chorus
were both on stage throughout Act I, there
was very little space for the various singers
to play out their scenes.
THIS SITUATION might have worked to
the Company's advantage had Cumming
effectively made use of the space he had.
Unfortunately, he chose not to do this, rely-
ing instead on the most puerile and inartistic
choreography I have seen outside of a kin-
dergarten Spring Pageant. Why Cumming
felt a need for using a set of cumbersome
risers for the placement of his small chorus
is a mystery to me. They were used for only
the first five minutes of the performance,
after which they did nothing more than take
up valuable stage space. Surely Cumming
could have invented a more economical
method of introducing his chorus.
The most annoying aspect of the operetta
was its strong resemblance to a first dress
rehearsal. Most of the performers were un-
sure of their characterization and, as a

result, the acting and singing was very
sloppy. On too many occasions players would
look to the conductor for their cues, creat-
ing sudden vacuums in the flow of action
that smacked of gross unprofessionalism. I
was particularly shocked to see Cyril Rit-
chard having to . constantly look down at
his script as he read the part of the Nar-
rator. It seemed as though he was reading
these lines for the first time.
Because the performance was so pitted
with flaws, it was impossible to follow the
operetta's plot. This meant instant death
since the tension needed to place the music
in its proper setting never developed. Many
of the musical numbers were performed
adequately in and of themselves, but their
relation to the operetta as a whole was lost
in the almost comic disorder of the produc-
THE SINGING was not very impressive
either. Some of the characters, such as
Marietta (Doreen Devies) and Captain Dick
(Grayston Shirst), had the technical ability
to sing Herbert's music, but even they lacked
the spirit 'to do the score justice. And then
there were those singers who simply had
no business being in a professional produc-
tion of any staged musical event. John
Kordell-Juliano, Etienne-sang particularly
jarring renditions of his numbers.
The acting was atrocious, among the worst
I have ever seen. This was not, as some
people may believe, a problem intrinsic to
the operetta itself, but was rather the result
of the performers' insensitivity to the char-
acters they were portraying.
This problem was further compounded by
the tendency among some of the actors to
edd kitschey little contrivances to their
characterizations. honing to cuten them up
for the audience. Ronald Corrado (Silas
Slick), for instance, had the unfortunate
habit of wiggling his body after he had de-
livered his lines.
Conductor Thomas Scherman was able to
handle Herbert's music skillfully, never over-
powering the singers (possibly because of
the. use of microphones to project and dis-
tort the vocalists). Special mention should
also be made of the first violinist, whose
solos were deliberate, and very polished.

Ars Musica lively


A Q 10 9 2
J 10 5

4A J 4
f.9 7
4 A J 10 8

A RS MUSICA is more than
a step into the past.
True, the ensemble dressed
in baroque period costumes for
their performance last Saturday
Iight. And true, they play only
Baroque music, on authentic or
copied Baroque instruments.
The musical experience of
Ars Musica is, however, quite
lively and very much in the
present. The ensemble puts on;
a professional show, which is
not bad when you consider that
except for the leader, Lyndon
Lawless, all the members work
on a part-time basis.
IN ADDITION, Ars Musica is
growing. Last year the group
numbered eight musicians. Now
it is thirteen. The expansion en-
ables Ars Musica to perform or-
chestral works that would be
difficult with a smaller ensem-
They also seem more comfort-
able when they perform. Last
year their concert at the Michi-
gan Union featured a number
of gaffes and omissions, despite
its overall success. Lawless ad-
mits, "We were a bit awed by
the size of the audience." This
year they're used to it.
Saturday night at St. Clare's
Episcopla-Temple Beth Emeth,
'Ars Musica made their Ann
Arbor seasonal debut. They
opened with the spirited and
forceful Overture to Jephtha,
by Handel.4
THE Overture to Jephtha util-
ized all thirteen Ars Musica
members. The following piece,
Johann Christian Bach's Quin-
tetto for Oboe used only those
necessary players. In the Quin-
tetto, the individual voices stood
out more than in the opening
Sselection, particularly the oboe
*and violin.
The Quintetto was in a light-
er vein Jephtha, the oboe carry-
ing most of the airy melody..
J. C. Bach's compositions were
somewhat less grave and pon-
derous than those of his famous
father, Johann Sebastion Bach,

Ars Musica's performers. as
well as the flexibility of their
THE NEXT selection was an-
other orchestral piece, a Con-
certo Grosso by Corelli. The,
first and second violins, play-
ed by Susan Charney and Deb-'
orah Paul, were particularly
even and penetrating.
During intermission three Ars
Musica players gave an im-
promptu performance of Scot-
tish folk songs on hammered
dulcimer. (Penny Crawford),
penny whistle (Michael Lynn),
violin (Dave Douglass), and vi-
ola (Robin Wideman). It of-
fered a distinct change from:
the previous music and what
was to follow.
The second half of the pro-
gram was devoted to Francis'
Hopkinson's Temple of Miner-
va. Hopkinson adapted his pa-:
triotic verse to songs written
by Handel, Henry Carey, Mi-
chael Arnem, and Thomas Au-
gustine Arne. It also featured
an instrumental by Jomelli.
"Minerva is not a master-
piece by any means," says
Lawless. "But the outlook at
the time was quite bleak, and
the audiences enjoyed it." The
work was originally perform-
ed only a few times around
Philadelphia, and General
George Washington and the
Miiister of France were pre-
sent at the first performance..
THIS MARKS the first time

the work has been done outside
of Washington, D.C., and the
first time it has been perform-
ed on 18th century instruments
(Excepting, of course, its orig-
inal run). For this concert, Ars
Musica was joined by four cap-
able vocalists: Judith Jones,
soprano (Minerva); Carmen
Cavallaro, tenor (Genius of
France); Paul Osterhout, tenor
(Genius of America): and Rich-
ard Lalli, baritone (High Priest
of Minerva).
Lawless is thoughtful in his
approach to the music he plays.
"They (the composers) would
be appalled to hear some of
the interpretations today-may-
be even ours."
The next concert of Ars Mu-
sica will be January 8, at the
St. Clare's Episcopal - Temple
Beth Emeth. And don't forget
the Bach birthday celebration
on March 19.

4 K Q 10 8 7 2
* 8743
.s K 2
GREG WAS sitting South, and'wound up inwa 4 spade contract.
He bid it mainly as a sacrifice against West's 4 heart call, but
he had some visions of making the contract.
West led the .5 of clubs, and Greg studied the hand. He had'
three sure losers-one in spades, one in hearts and one in clubs.
There was a chance 'of an additional loser in diamonds, spades
or clubs. There was nothing he could do about diamonds or
clubs, so he had to concentrate on' losing only one spade.
Having decided his line of play, he played low from dummy,
and East won the trick with the club Ace. Back came 'a small
club which Greg won with his King.
IT WAS TIME to start trumps, so Greg, realizing the need.
to lead up to his King-Queen-ten of spades, led a small diamond'
to dummy's Ace, and returned the 6 of trumps from the board.
East ducked, and Greg won with the Queen of spades. Next he
led another diamond to the board, and played the remaining
spade. East rose with the Ace, and led a heart to his partner's:
Ace. West then led his last diamond, and East ruffed with her'
last trump, for the setting trick.
Oh well," Greg said. "No one else will make it so it will
probably be a good board anyway." While unfolding the
travelling scorecard, he continued, "I coltd have made it if I
finessed the spade 10, but that was onl ya 50-50 shot. But, per-
haps there was, a squeeze?"
This last question infuriated me, and I was about to reply
when Greg saw the rsults.
"SO FAR WE'RE dead bottom!" he exclaimed. "All but
two pairs beat 4 'hearts a trick, and both of those pairs made
the silly thing. I can't believe it," he added shaking his head.
"Some fish take the spade finesse, and we get a cold zero."
No longer able to restrain myself, I said, "I'm not so sure
who was the fish on this hand." Without giving Greg a chance
to respond I continued, "You were right to bid 4 spades, but!
your play and comments about the hand were all wrong. The
hand could have and should have been made, but not by a
fatuous finesse, or one of your beloved squeezes. After winning,
the first spade trick," I went on, "you should re-think the hand.
You know you want to get to dummy to lead trumps up to your
tenace, but you should foresee the danger of a diamond ruff,
and devise a plan to avert it. It's actually a very simple play,"
I explained. Before leading a diamond to dummy, you simply
lead a'heart, to break communications between East and West.;
Either side can win the heart trick, but neither can hurt you.!
You then follow the same line of play that you used, only now
when East wins the spade Ace, she can't put her partner on
lead to get her diamond ruff."
"ARE YOU SURE there wasn't some more) complicated
way to make the hand?" Greg asked.
"Why would you want a more complicated way?" I asked.
"Fancy double clash or hexagon squeezes are nice plays to know
and fantasize about, but they aren't very practical. They simply
don't come up that often. Learn how to handle hands like this
first," I begged, "then worry about squeezes."
"Yeah, maybe you are right," Greg said. "But let me tell
you about this Vienna Coup I pulled off to only go down one the!
other day."
I guess he'll never learn.

a contemporaryAmerican drama
NOV. 18, 19, 20 at 8:00
NOV. 21 at 3:00
460 N. Vernon, Dearborn
(1 blk. north of Cherry HjiI Rd., west of Telegraph)

Glee. Club conc-ert

r1 01 iE

but the

son was in many re-+
more widely accepted

By BILL BARBOUR ing number, Albert Stanley'sr
I AST SATURDAY the Univer- "Laudes Atque Carmina," set2
sity Men's Glee Club, in con- the tone for the rest of their.c
junction with the University of program. In general, their per-
Illinois Glee Club, presented a formance was of a high caliber.
concert of widely varied music. The singers were at their best1
Though the groups had both on majestic songs like "The
strong and weak points, the Last Words of David" in which
concert as a whole was fair- they projected an excitement<
ly enjoyable. 'which must be felt in concert4
The Illini began the concert. to be fully understood. The club,1
Their most notable quality was also demonstrated the gift of!
dynamic contrast, evidenced by subtlety in pieces such as "Cho-1
from majestic songs such as
"Cry Out and Shout" to deli- -------- --------- -------.
cate works like "Ave Maria," I Drink To Think
the ensemble showed a mastery
of dynamics.
Another salient aspect of the,
group was its precision. This
was demonstrated best in
Bruckner's "Trosterin Musik,"
a challenging test for vocal en-
sembles. Enunciationland clari-
ty were excellent. Balance was'
also good.
HOWEVER, the group was A
not totally without faults. In "A
the song "People" the pianist f floi.r0+ .. 5. *
and glee club disagreed on styl- Put some humor u
istic interpretation. Consequent- ,
ly, they did not match in many Posters: 17" x 2;
passages and the piece sounded Add a ttle flair and humor to your room"
25c handling Send today_ prompt delive
somewhat muddy. orders
After a brief intermission, the 'Na
University of Michigan Men's a Rush Me: A
Glee Club took the stage. Their - Head Pressure" Posters c
unusual rendition of the open-r "I Drink To Think" Posters S

'by the public of the time. ,.,, ... ...
rus o the vbo-Next on the program wasj
rus of the Priests" (from Mo-b~h ulcofrgtm~a
zart's ie "The Fid- another chamber piece, this
dier" by Brahms and Scarlatti's Atne a flute trio by Pleyelwith nS
'Exultate Deo" were perfect The o n wodfbe.
vehicles to showcase the group's T t c i h
precision. to works show the versatility ofA
Balance was the most con-' CA E S E I L
sistent problem for the group 4)4
and in many numbers, the 1st - L We'll get the Cake delivered as you
tenors overbalanced to a no- 1
ticeable extent. Intonation was Want it, fresh, intact, and on time.
also slightly off, mostly in the
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Head Pressure 0
AMMNask us about
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- 1 caW eorat the corner of Liberty & Main
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ame I ~ "
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nairrr r rr r rrr r



N.R.A. entertains at Ark
By SUSAN VINTILLA but they were at their best at powered their voices.I Thy ex-
THE N.R.A. is neither a dec- these slick, fast paced instru- celled on instrumentals because
laration of minority rights mentals. Prine and Wilson have they seemed made for each
nor a secret snooping agency of firm strident singing voices, other, especially when Prme's
the Federal Government. The with good country twangs, but jumping fiddle led Wilson': ki-
National Recovery Act is David their instruments often over- Inetic banjo.

James Publishing co. 650 WoolworthI
--ss-- -- --r-- -- - - --

Prine (brother of John) and Ty-
ler Wilson, the folk musicians
at the Ark last Saturday night.
Actually, the music Prine and
Wilson performed is better de-'
scribed as solid country folk.'
They leaned towards sinple'
classic material which they em-
bellished with their wit and in-
strumentals. The repertoire of
love and folk songs included
Charlie Pool's "If I Lose,"
"First Unto This Country,',, on,
guitar and autoharp, "S,3n Tor"
Jesus," a spiritual ballad, ar d
"Goin' Across the Mountain," a
lively singalong. With Prine on
fiddle and Wilson on banjo they
performed a spirited biuegrass
The N.R.A. may have de-
scribed its bluegrass rend tiors
as "Astroturf" and "crabgrass"

slip into a little sunshine with a University of Hawaii T-shirt. These
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Pa44e&z.z. ae Q(0,Aice 11,ez u4
7~ e S~t4~Ye.'MvPo1TE P
ut~tewrnre t.ze
-- 774 4

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