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November 02, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-02

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ARTS
Tuesday, November 2, 1982,

The Michigan Daily

tr

Star soprano

Page7
iumphs
but Blegen is an uncommon perfortn d
in many ways.
The last two encores were Grieg's
Solvejg's Song and a slightly abridged
version of Mozart's Exultate Jubilate.
Both were virtuoso performances by
what may be the most gracious and
charming woman in opera today.

gh

By Jane Carl
S TAGE PRESENCE is an innate
part of public performance, but all
too often many of the biggest names in
classical music lack charm and
graciousness when onstage. Whether it
is a character flaw or mere snobbery is
dependent upon the individual, but the
Saturday evening -recital of soprano
Judith Blegen in Hill Auditorium con-
tained no snobbery or flaws of any sort.
From the moment she stepped on-
stage to her final encore,-Blegen was
poised, charming, and a consummate
artist. Her first selection was 10 excer-
pts from Wolf's Italienisches Lieder-
buch. Although Blegen has often been
criticized for singing only lighter
works, as most of her program was, she
brought incredible charm and artistry
to the simplest piece.
Ich ;hub in Penna einen Liebsten
whonen from Italienisches Liederbuck
is the tale of a woman with many
lovers in various locations around Italy.
As she described her bountiful amount
of lovers, Blegen became so pleased
with herself that the audience burst into
a pleased chuckle and furious ap-
plause.
Blegen's operatic acting was present
throughout the evening, but it never
overshadowed her pure, resonant
voice. Her next selection featured four
songs by Brahms. In Lerchengeseng,
Op. 70, No. 2, one became aware of the

care Blegen prepares her recitals with.
Every note was treated with the utmost
delicacy and handed to the audience as
if she were giving them a present.
The second half opened with four
songs by Milhaud entitled Chansons de
Ronsard. These were typical virtuositic
French pieces that gave Blegen a better
opportunity to show off her exquisite
technique and eloquent phrasing.
This was followed by When Love is
Kind, an old English folk song that was
simple beyond belief, and from many
other singers would have been trite.
However, Blegen's marvelous
execution of every musical element
precluded any possibe triteness
throughout the evening.
Menotti's lovely Monica Aria was the
high point of the evening. The charming
waltz tells the story of a servant who
has fallen in love with his princess. Ac-
companist Martin Katz could not have
served Blegen better on this work. His
sensitivity lent the piece the breezy,
coquettish air it demanded. Blegen was
at the height of expressivity both in
telling the story and in making music.
Blegen was called back by the
audience for three encores, before
which she thanked the audience for
their attentiveness and appreciation.
This gratitude was a rare occurrence
among performers of her magnitude,

i

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT
Iggy Pop performs at his 15th anniversary Halloween bash at the Michigan Theatre last Saturday night.
Iggy' s 'Hailoween madness

I

By Rob Weisberg
GGY POP played at the Michigan
Theatre on Saturday night. It wasn't
anything special, really-not very
gruesome or necromantic or
anything-but it wasn't that bad. As
bng as Ig can keep that sense of humor,
it's hard not to like him.
The whole thing, complete with bet-
ween-sets costume contest, was over by
eleven. That's my biggest gripe-
customers had to pay $11.50 for under
two hours of music. I guess the over
half-empty house spoke for itself on
that issue, though. Someday local en-
trepeneurs will begin to discover that
it's more fun and, more realistically in
their terms, more profitable to charge a
fair price and pack the house than to rip
off a select few diehards.
Enough of that. Nash the Slash,
Toronto's native son, started the show.
Nash, who was accompanied by nobody
besides a few machines, came out
dressed in a bloodied white medical-
looking gown with white mask and con-
struction helmet. He was holding a
glistening white violin from which
"sprang forth (with the accompaniment
of rhythm box and, presumably, tapes)

an apocalyptic heavy-metalish building
dirge that verified his presence. It was
pretty good, I've got to admit. It really
caught the attention of the folks who
were there which I'm sure is all that
Nash could ask for.
Nash did another less impressive one
on violin and then switched over to
guitar. He did some syntho-dancy stuff,
some more of the dirgier stuff, and an
interesting rendition of "Deadman's
Curve" (the old Jan & Dean tune) com-
plete with extended audio-visual
crashup. Apparently Nash likes to
throw in at least one warped oldy per
set to help baffle the audience.
He left after just six songs, while I
was still trying to figure out what to
make of it. Despite my cynicism towar-
ds live shows that aren't really live,
I've got to admit some of the music was
really catchy and that's what pop music
is about. Everybody got a kick out of it
too, so give him some points.
After Nash there was the costume
thing, where another blow was struck
for sexism (ironically) as a Playboy
Bunny of all creative things took third.
Some blob-guy with a big head won,
though, which was okay. They gave him
a big bag of money.
Then Iggy came out. My first im-

pression, after he took off his
executioner's hood, was that he looked
old. He is thirty-five, which has
something to with it. And when he star-
ted singing, he didn't sound half bad. He
was wearing an Iggy shirt-this
bothered me, especially considering the
quality of the shirt. All in the game.
He came out in the midst of a taped
introduction-it reminded me a bit of
Nash, at least in intended purpose. It
had some mysterious music and Iggy
saying a lot of things about boxes; big
boxes, little boxes. His voice kept get-
ting angrier and angrier: "Even your
best friends are boxes," until he finally
pranced onstage.
It was a very diverse set. Iggy alter-
nated the customary hard-rocking
oldies with his new stuff, which is
almost synthpop without synths-yet
with an edge performed live that syn-
thesized music just can't produce. The
band sounded good to me; very
professional but not invisible. The
drummer in particular did quite a job of
recreating the sound that you thought
only comes from rhythm boxes.
Indeed, they rocked out pretty well on
upbeat numbers like the opening "Eat
or be Eaten," or "The Villagers." Iggy
was pretty calm most of the time,
though, only showing signs of his old
self during the encores and oc-
casionally when he hit the floor or
something. He was smiling and joking
with the crowd-not a sign of the old an-
tagonism remained in his act. If you
didn't let little nostalgic things like that
bother you, and just took the music at
face value, it wasn't bad. But it cer-
tainly didn't have any special energy to
it; it was just a nice show, doing the
stuff pretty much as it is on the albums,
doing the oldies, going home.
Maybe Iggy's trying to make a point
with hi,. new music and his new less-
antagonistic stance. He's trying to stay
original; he's always tried not to be
trendy and possibly he's pointing this
out by doing a musical (but not lyrical,
because that would be too blunt and
stupid) parody on the latest thing. After
all, he's still got his tongue in cheek-
he always has. Or maybe he figures
he's too old to act mean any more so
he's lightening up, and to symbolize this
closing of the book on his past he put out
his biography and radically changed
his music. Whatever it is, what it
produced on Saturday was enough to
keep you interested but didn't get you
excited. After all, that's life.

Records
The Look-'Look Again'
Another recording of the "Don't
worry about the music, just have fun"
Seventies philosophy from what most
local people prefer to forget is
originally an Ann Arbor band.
Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns
do sing background on "You Can't Sit
Down," the opening song, but they can't
teach a borrowed genre new hooks.
Similarly, the "sh-doop-wah"
background for "Needle in a
Haystack," while the best part of the
piece, remains an almost shameless
plagiarism which loses spirit in the
transition.
Someday the Look is bound to stum-
ble on a bland Casey Casum hit, and
then we can dislikethem even more for
an undeserved popularity (that an
equally bland audience deserves). This
is more music purporting to be about
middle-class realism and fun-making
the best of a difficult situation-just
specious enough to warrant the
retitling, "Look Away (Again)."
-Ben Ticho
Dear Merchant.
Did you know
that Daily
readers spend
over $125
million on
items you
sell?__ __
GET YOUR AD!
CALL.
764-0554

R.Ce MINI-COURSE
MIGRANTS, MONOPOLIES, & MACHINES
The plight of the migrant farmworker
Mon, Wed, Thurs,-Nov. 8-18-8:00-10:00 p.m.
(one credit)
Contact John, Brian, or Uriel at 764-1146

MARIAH* xSHOWCASE JAZZ
PROUDLY PRESENTS

0

V

Ralph Towner
Paul McCandless
Glen Moore
Collin Walcott

Thursday Nov.4th,1982
Fairchild Theater MSU
7:30 pm And 10:00pm
General Admission

$7.50-Advance
$8.50 -Door

-TICKETS AVAILABLE AT-
Warehouse RecordsII/Campus Corners I{
Flat, Black and Circular/Marshall Music
School Kids-A. Arbor/Full Moon- Mt.Pleast:
FlipsideRecords-Kalamazoo

1181

.rmrr.^e r n. *..r..u ? ~n v

IU

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT

Iggy does his pop magic for all his fans.

The Amos Tuck School
of
Business Administration
Dartmouth College " Hanover, N.H.
Men and Women Seeking
Graduate Education for Management
are invited to discuss the

FORESTRY ...
You're Needed
All Over the
1World.
Ask Peace Corps Foresters why they travel half way
around the world to Africa, Asia and Latin America .. .
Ask other volunteers why they work with the local people
to help them with forest management, erosion control,
and watershed preservation . .. why they learn and speak
their neighbors' language and adapt to a new culture.
Ask them why Peace Corps is the toughest job you'll
ever love.

','

i

,I

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