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September 24, 1987 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-24

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Thursday, September 24, 1987

The Michigan Doily

Page 8

Opera that caters



By Terri Park
Tomorrow night, the Papagena
Opera Company will be starting its
fourth season with the first fully
staged American premiere of
Mozart's II Re Pastore, (The
Shepherd King ). This opera is based
upon a drama originally written to
teach the future emperor, Joseph II
of Austria, the virtues of a wise
shepherd, and how they might help a
future emperor.
The general director and founder of
the Papagena Opera Company, Dr.
Rachelle Warren, started this small
and intimate opera company with the
goal of making opera appreciable to
the ordinary citizen. "I want to bring
opera to a confined audience, and
make it accessible and enjoyable to
everyone," he says.
Unlike most major opera
productions, which are usually
dragged over three or four hours,
including intermissions, and are

staged in large oversized concert
halls, Ii Re Pastore is a digestable
one hour and 45 minutes, and is
staged in the intimate surroundings
of the Kerrytown Concert House.
Warren explains, "the idea of
being intimate and small is
important ... being a chamber opera,
we either cut down an opera or pick
a short one."
The idea of producing "Il Re
Pastore" occurred when Warren was
mulling over ideas with Gustav
Meier, the Director of the University
of Michigan Orchestra. Warren
recalls, "Gustav Meier threw out the
titile Il Re Pastore, and I said, 'I
don't think it has ever been
performed in America."'
Director Meier then proceeded to
tell Warren that he believed he had a
copy from Yale University which
was translated into English from
Italian, lying somewhere in his
basement at home. Thus, the bright
dawning of Il Re Pastore was found

among the cluttered disorder of an
underground room.
The cast is an assemblage of
talent. The stars are the award-
winning coloratura soprano Jill
Pierce and soprano Julia Broxholm.
Pierce will be singing the title role
in "The Shepherd King," a role sung
in Mozart's time by a castrato,
which was a castrated male. Julia
Broxholm wil be playing "his" love
Elisa. The cast also incudes David
Troiano, playing Alexander the
Great. Choonhye Lee, who gave a
rave performance in the company's
production of Mozart's Magic Fute,
is cast as the refugee princess
Tamyris, who is in love with
Agenure, sung by Timothy
Morningstar. Nancy Arnfeld is the
stage director; Fusao Kajima, a
University conducting graduate
student under the tutelage of Gustav
Meier and Leonard Bernstein, is the
musical director. The musical
accompaniment will be a string

quintet and a harpsichord,.performed
by Robert Pazur.
For anyone in seach of a
Papagena, you may be peasantly
surprised this weekend with the
performance of Il Re Pasture, which,
according to the predictions of its
general director, "is sure to be a
delight for both the opera buff and
the novice."
Performances are Friday and
Saturday (September 25 th and 26th)
at 8 p.m., and Sunday (September
27 th) at 4 p.m. Ticket prices are
$15 ($12 for "Friends of Papagena")
Tickets are available in advance at
the Michigan Theatre Box Office,
the Liberty Music Shop, or by
calling 769-SING. 1987 "Friends of
Papagena" or those interested in
becoming "Friends" should contact
the opera company directly for ticket


Jill Pierce will be performing in Mozart's 'TI Re Pastore' this wekend-



: Is it horror's future?

By Michael Behm

-dwin0'"off.I was ready. Really ready. I even
- Sale ends October 3 went to the bathroom before seating
myself for this so-called "horrorific
G et masterpiece." Stephen King was
quoted as saying, "What Barker does
Acquaintedmakes the rest of us look like we've
been asleep for the last ten years - I
Sale have seen the future of horror
fiction, and his name is Clive
Carrying the finest in Barker." After watching Hellraiser I
contemporary thinghad to wonder if King received a
for your casual lifestyle. little spending money for his kind
This feature is supposed to be the
pioneer in the new age of horror.
On East Lberty between 4hEnglish writer and director Clive
662-9660 Barker says of his film, "I think
we've made a horror picture with
intelligence and style. What we have
is an adult horror film." I think a
few of Barker's close friends should
take a look at his latest work and
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Clive Barker has been called the heir apparent to Stephen King.

give him their honest a d u It
opinions. A young audience might
think, "Wow, that flick had some
serious substance." On the contrary,
an older (as Clive puts it,"adult")
audience would see the gaping
unexplained holes in the movie's
story line.
Hellraiser is not a terrible movie.
Many aspects of it were masterfully

done. It's just hard to suspend belief
for the sake of the plot, when no
justifiable explanations were given.
Barker gives a quick synopsis of
the show. He says, "Hellraiser is
about desire. It's about people
desiring something they can't have
and the consequences of desire
pushed to the limits - and then
beyond. It's about a guy who does


deal with the devil - or forces
beyond our comprehension - and is
torn apart for his pains. His
mistress, who happens to be his
brother's wife, decides to resurrect
him by murdering men so that their
life forces can be transferred to him.
She does it for love."
Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman),
the guy who deals with the devil,;
stumbles on what seems to be a
puzzle box. This box, we are asked
to assume, is the gateway to
"unlimited pleasure." This is just
one of numerous holes in the story.
What horror movie-goers enjoy
seeing is the antagonist; we like to
see the bad guy. That's why a good
deal of people go to these things.
Hellraiser is 93 minutes long; yet
we aren't formally introduced to the 4
demonic "cenobites," until the final
ten minutes. These creatures are
what'we came to see. After all, they
are the "demons from hell," human-
like figures with needles protruding
from their grotesque heads. Instead,
for the first 83 minutes, we are
subjected to acting reminiscent of
awful "B" films.
The admirable aspects of
Hellraiser were excellent audio
technique and one particular scene
where the true definition of the word
"disturbing" is brought across the
footlights. Marathon Man g:
convinced you not to have your teeth
drilled for a while; this particular
scene in Hellraiser might slow
down your sexual drive.
While the film does have its
fleeting moments of great.
nerve-touching horror, there are too
many instances where there is not,,
enough background, justification, or
reason. Thus, what the everlasting,,
effects horror movies such as The
Thing and The Exorcist have,
Hellraiser painfully lacks.

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