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February 10, 1987 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-10

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ARTS

W'.

' -The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, February 10, 1987

Page 7

Opera at its

c

Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett illuminated the s
problems and rock 'n' roll.
Light of I

by Katherine Hansen
Patti Rasnick doesn't aspire to be a big time rock
'n' roller; she lives to "feel that beat onstage for that
hour, and that's enough." Her younger brother, Joe,
is too busy being the family referee to know what his
own aspirations are. Welcome to Cleveland where the
bar band circuit and American blue-collar lives are
illuminated in Paul Schrader's film Light of Day.
Light of Day features Michael J. Fox ("Family
Ties") in his first dramatic role. Joe comes complete
with long hair, earring, and lunch pai, and lives his
"Ties" character's, Alex P. Keaton, worst nightmare:
he works nine to five in a metal pressing plant,
spending almost as many weeks laid off as he spends
on the line.
At night, Joe, Patti, and their band "The
Barbusters" burst forth with ebullient rock 'n' roll,
putting extra cash in their pockets while escaping
divisive family turmoil.

creen in 'Light of Day,' a film about blue collar
)ay'shines
Fox turns in a modestly successful performance as
Joe, who at just 23 must be more than most men
twice his age can be - devoted son, unconditionally
loving brother, and stand-in father to Patti's five-year-
old illigitimate son.
He appears intimidated by the complex character
and goes just about halfway in kindling the fire that
seldom but strongly burns within Joe. As he tries to
turn the rebellious Patti into a suitable mother, or as
he tries to extinguish the long-standing resentment
between Patti and their religious mother, Fox tiptoes
forward with tentative emotionality, uttering sup -
posedly turbulent curses with a guilty vehemence.
Light of Day 's power comes from the film acting
debut of rock singer Joan Jett. As Patti, Jett is just
tough enough to fight her mother, yet vulnerable
enough to feel love for her child. In an especially
impressive scene, Jett is a female Marlon Brando as
she confides "I'm a good singer, Joey," and wonders
what might have been had she chosen abortion five
See JETT page 8

By Noelle Brower
I am going to try to restrain
myself. When writing about Sop -
rano Kiri Te Kanawa, it would be
easy, one could say almost natural,
to lose oneself in rapturous ac -
claim. Te Kanawa is that inspiring.
Internationally recognized as one of,
if not the, greatest singers of her
day, Te Kanawa exudes an easy ele -
gance coupled with an inner
strength that permeates both her
dramatic performances and concert
recitals.
Te Kanawa first gained recog -
nition for her portrayl of Countess
Almaviva in the 1971 Covent
Garden production of Mozart's The
Marriage of Figaro. This production
is usually heralded as the turning
point in her career which com -
menced her rise to international
stardom that climaxed in 1982
when she was made a Dame Com -
mander of the British Empire. This
is not to say that her career has
peaked or that she won't be in top
form tonight when she performs at
Hill Auditorium.
Te Kanawa's lucious voice and
immpecable interpretation of the
bel canto repertoire are as apparent
as ever in both her live and recorded
performances. One has only to re -
call Te Kanawa's last performance
in Ann Arbor at the 1985 May
Festival when, dressed in a stun -
ning purple taffeta gown, she dis -
played her artistic mastery with
such favorites as Strauss's "Four
Last Songs," a series of heartfelt
song poems with texts by the Ger -
man poets Hermann Hesse and
Joseph von Eichendorff, and "Let

the Bright Seraphim," another Te
Kanawa signature song. Te Kanawa
is currently enjoying her prime as a
singer and performer. If you missed
her performance here two years ago,
do not let tonight's opportunity to
see a true operatic master perform
slip by.
The operatic world forms a sort
of secret society; each member can
recall the personal initiation in his
or her life when opera opened a
window of the world for them
through which they caught a
glimpse of sometling beautiful.
The age of the great operatic com -
posers has been eclipsed by the age
of the great singers. It is to them
that one looks for the possiblity of
beauty. For the fan, the world of
opera is scared and its singers are
the new functionaries who perform
the rites of passage. Such pas -
sionate feelings and sycophantic
displays of devotion are not uncom -
mon. Certainly, Te Kanawa has
been the recipient of such adulation.
It is true that it is sometimes dif -
ficult to separate the artist from the
personaltiy once one has reached the
heights that Te Kanawa soared to
several years ago. Te Kanawa seems
to have accepted her status with

best
grace, though; she has not let it
hinder her continuing artistic de -
velopment. She has expanded her
classical repetoire to include the
recent popular recordings of West
Side Story and South Pacific plus
a compilation album that she
collaborated on with Nelson Riddle.
Tonight's performance will in -
clude works by Handel, Mozat,
Richard Strauss and her popular
rendition of "Songs of the
Auvergne," arranged by Joseph
Canteloube. If you are an opera
buff, then I'm sure that you bought
your ticket last year when they first
went on sale and do not need to be
convinced of Te Kanawa's abilities.
If you are undecided about opera, or
think that it is an overblown,
highly esoteric art form, tonight's
performance should change your
mind. At least give it a chance. Kiri
Te Kanawa is arguably the best
singer of our time, certainly, if
anyone is qualified to convinvce
one of opera's merits, she is.
Kiri Te Kanawa will perform
this evening at 8 p.m. in Hill
Auditorium. Tickets are available at
the University Musical Society's
Burton Tower office. For more
information call: 764-2538.

VIEWPOINT LECTURES PRESENTS

CDE inspires

By Sherry Lichtenwalner
Rackham Auditorium was priv-
ileged to hear Jacob Druckman's
amazing composing ability last
Sunday night. Druckman, the chai-
rman of the composition depar-
tment at Yale and composer-in-
residence with the New York
Philharmonic, lectured in Rackham
Amphitheatre before the Contemp-
orary Directions Ensemble per-
formed of three of his works: Bo,
Valentine, and Lamia . Nicholas
Thorne's Songs from the
1 Mountain, was also performed;
Thorne is the assistant professor of
y composition at the School of
Music.,
Lamia, a stunning work of var-
ious textures, displayed Druckman's
uncanny ability to elicit a wide
M range of sounds from the ensemble.
The performers painted a picture
with Druckman's music, creating a
fabulous canvas of sound that
conveyed the subject matter to the
audience. Echoing the various texts
of the piece, the ensemble shifted
from phase to phase with ease. The
whimsical opening, dealing with
Medea's obsession with Jason,
flowed into the French texts that
followed. The ensemble then took
turns imitating the Malaysian

concept of the soul as a bird-like
sprite, beginning with the violins
and moving through the other
instruments of the group. Elizabeth
Elvidge, mezzo-soprano soloist,
delivered a flawless performance.
Her lucid treatment of the rapidly
changing texts negated any need for
program notes, as did her express-
iveness.
Bo , a piece for harp, marimba,
three female vocalists, and bass
clarinet, imitated the sounds of
waves in a striking display instru-
mental versatility. Dedicated to the
people of Southeast Asia, the work
was prompted by the composer's
memory of a photograph of a group
of boat people "huddled in the
bottom of a small boat" (from the
program notes by Druckman). The
female vocalists sat with their
backs to the audience, humming,
hissing like the wind, and singing
in Chinese. The marimba and harp
served as the waves, increasing in
activity and volume as the piece
continued and receding as it con-
cluded. The circular ymmetry of
the piece also echoed the wave-like
sounds of the instruments, creating
a shimmering illusion of water
lapping against the hull of a boat.
Valentine , an unusual contra-
bass solo, stressed the versatility of
the performer and the instrument.
See DRUCKMAN page 8

MAGAZINE
CAREER
INSTITUTE
George T. Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism
Four Workshops, June 1-26,1987
Magazine Writing
One Week, June 1-5 or June 22-26
Magazine Design
and Editing
Two Weeks, June 8-19
Magaline Design
an d Pagination
One Week, June 1-5
The Business
of Magazine Publishing
One Week, June 22-26
Intensive instruction, 9-5, M-F
Limited housing on campus,
by reservation
For information write to
Magazine Career Institute
Dept. 41
Graduate School of Journalism
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
New York, NY 10027

DR. ALEXANDER GOLDFARB
Spokesman for the Human Rights Commission

"EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM I.
A TOTALITARIAN SOCIETY'
Rackham Ampitheatre
Febuary 10 8:00 pm
FREE ADMISSION

Coming Soon!

CT DC'I I TO IKI U A I C TUC "
UL. I ~ LLQUL I L1 J 01 -\LL IHI
15,000 CIRCULATION
beginning September 1987

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