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March 30, 1989 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-30

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4

ARTS
Thursday, March 30, 1989

The Michigan Daily

Page 8

'U'

brings Mozart to masses

Fossils they ain't

4

BY AMI MEHTA

FOR those of you that think opera
is a bunch of obese people dressed
in robes singing in really high
voices in a foreign tongue to a sto-
ryline which makes absolutely no
sense, think again. In four perfor-
mances, the University School of
Music Opera Theater will present
The Marriage of Figaro, an opera
composed by Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart, and will try to clear up
most of these. operatic stereotypes.
One of the most popular and of-
ten performed of Mozart's operas,
this story is based upon a comedy
written by Pierre-Augustin Caron
de Beaumarchais entitled La Folle
Journie or Le Marriage de Figaro
("The Crazy Day" or "The Marriage
of Figaro"). This work was such a
great success in Vienna when it was
first produced in 1786 that Emperor
Joseph II had to issue a decree pro-
hibiting the lengthy encores.
But, as well received as this
opera was, it caused Mozart to suf-
fer the loss of his higher class
pupils and a chance at obtaining an
eminent post on the Court. This
was due to its satire of aristocratic
morals and behavior. The aristoc-
racy and high court officials were

traditional setting using an English
translation very faithful to the
original Italian text. All of these
different facets together make this a
unique style of opera well worth
watching and hearing.
This combination of elements
falls under the direction of Jay
Lesenger who has worked on more
than two dozen productions with
the New York City Opera. This is
Lesenger's last production as a full-
time director at the University, and
he plans to make it his best show
ever. According to him, the show
combines humor and an essence of
reality. And since the opera is about
young people, it is fitting that stu-
dents are performing it. "They bring
a refreshing youthful quality to the
work," said Lesenger.
On the whole, The Marriage of
Figaro incorporates a conventional
operatic style with refreshing
innovation -that makes this perfor-
mance a must-see from beginning
to end. This show is definitely not
over until the fat lady sings!
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
will run March 30 to April 2 at the
Mendelssohn Theater. Tickets are
available at the Michigan League.

Dinosaur Jr. play live all

over

you tonight

Figaro (Scott Jussila) embraces
Susanna (Laura Lamport) in The
Marriage of Figaro.
not pleased with this mockery of
18th century feudal rights and
privileges.
University audiences, however,
should be pleased with The Mar-
riage of Figaro, which will be sung
by graduate and undergraduate voice
students accompanied by the Uni-
versity Symphony Orchestra con-
ducted by Gustav Meier. The uncut
version will be performed in its

BY MIKE RUBIN
C HANDELIERS will be swinging
and ear drums will be bursting
tonight at the Beat as SST recording
artists and Amherst, Massachusetts
natives Dinosaur Jr. make a hastily
arranged return visit to the tree-lined
and skateboard-free streets of Ann
Arbor. Originally scheduled to per-
form in the underground music mecca
of Lansing, Mich., promoters in the
state capital weren't able to get their
act together, allowing college radio's
favorite Triassic trio to bring their
army of Marshall stacks back to the
miniscule stages of the Parking
Structure Capital of the World.
Despite their moniker, Dinosaur
Jr. are far from being the fossils their
name might suggest. In fact, at this
stage of the independent la-
bel/underground music evolutionary
time line, no band has more success-
fully melded together 1970s hard rock
structures with a 1980s underground
approach than this detached and
disaffected bunch. On their three LPs
(and an EP cover of Peter Frampton's
"Show Me the Way"), ear-tickling
melodies coexist uneasily with
cochlea-crushing guitar skronk, while
simultaneously namby and gnarly
grooves are shredded with sheets of
white noise, creating an exciting
sense of pure pop at war with itself.
Vocalist/guitarist J. Mascis gives
new meaning to the word laconic, a

I
4

Dinosaur Jr. (left to right, J. Mascis, Murph, and Lou Barlow) will try
to shrug off the letdown of not getting to play Lansing as they bring
their primal scream therapy to the Beat.

A CLASS ACT
I N LINE FOR, '89

--I

Michigan Daily
ARTS
763-0379

psychedelic latch-key kid with a
voice like Neil Young on nitrous
oxide who sings/whines just barely
enough to be heard over the thunder-
ous Brontosauran roar of his own
riffing. Add to this sonic stew bassist
Lou Barlow's tape manipulations and
cut-ups, and this is a group that
makes "volume" a double entendre.
Since their last local appearance
in September 1987, the band has un-
dergone a well-documented name
change (tacking on the "Jr." in the
face of a lawsuit from a bunch of
crusty '60s holdovers calling them-
selves the Dinosaurs), toured Europe
and Great Britain, where the group
became the darlings and dartboards of
the music press, and recently released
Bug, their follow-up toYou're Living
All Over Me, the best American in-

dependent record of '87.
While not a significant progres-
sion from the previous album, Bug
is certainly no FrisbeeTM, being per-
haps the best "treading water" disc in
recent memory. Each song on the
record leaves an indelible imprint on
the humming center of the brain,
from the opening hook of "Freak
Scene" to the metal muscle-flexing
of "Let It Ride" to the gentle fresh-
water breeze of "Pond Song" to the
album-closing climax of "Don't," the
ultimate anthem for the alienated and
unrequited everywhere, a ten-megaton
blast of feedback frenzy and tortured
tonsils as the words "Why don't you
like me?" are screamed over a aural
landscape that resembles an emo-

4
I

See Fossils, Page 9

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