Page 10-The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1992
by Kirk Wetters
Performers who visit the Univer-
sity usually excite the most interest,
but we shouldn't overlook the tal-
ented individuals who reside in Ann
Arbor. One such artist is Willis C.
Patterson, a University graduate and
voice professor of 25 years.
Patterson has a low bass voice
with an exceptionally rich tone,
well-suited to a wide variety of mu-
sic. He began his career as a jazz
vocalist, but quickly expanded into
concert and operatic repertoire. The
recital will reflect the full range of
his experience, beginning with two
selections by Handel, one operatic
and the other from the oratorio
The bulk of the program reflects
Patterson's devotion to American
composers. Of special interest is the
premiere performance of a cycle of
five African-American spirituals en-
titled "Gabriel's Call." These songs
were composed for Patterson by his
friend, Noel DaCosta. Patterson will
also perform a group of songs by
another superb American composer,
John Duke. "Duke is a fine com-
poser of American art songs," Pat-
terson said, "whose work is under-
appreciated and under-performed."
Besides performing works by
American composers, Patterson has
worked to expand American music
in other ways. He is the president of
the National Association of Negro
Musicians, a 75-year-old organiza-
tion which supports African-ameri-
The perverse pleasures of 'Marquis'
by Megan Abbott
Fans of "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her
Lover" often reject criticisms of the film's gratuitous
sex and violence on the grounds that the movie is not
really about sexual sadism, cannibalism, and torture.
Instead, they argue, it is about the industrial revolution,
or the rise of the bourgeoisie, or the dehumanization of
20th century society. However, what we are given is a
series of degrading, sensationalistic scenes which al-
legedly make grand philosophical points about politics.
The Belgian-French film "Marquis" is similar in this
respect. It is the story of the Marquis de Sade's impris-
onment directly preceding the French Revolution. Of
course, any film based on the notorious Sade's life ne-
cessitates exploration into the themes of sado-
masochism and sexual perversionthat were so elemen-
tal to his work.
But the film does not aspire to high seriousness in its
look at Sade. "Marquis" takes quite a different ap-
proach. First, all the characters are played by actors
wearing animal masks. Second, one of the central char-
acters is that of the Marquis' "own sex" (as the film-
makers tactfully put it). A strange mix of allegory and
CMPS C I
Directed by Henri Xhonneux; written with art direction by
Roland Torpor; with Francois Marthouret.
literary phallocentrism ensues.
However, "Marquis" is a decidedly mixed bag.
When it celebrates its own ribald wit and proceeds to
make fun of its. own pretensions, it is fairly winning.
That is, it is hard not to enjoy the irony in the use of a
female voice for the character of the Marquis' sex organ
(named Colin). But when the two engage in philoso-
phizing, the film quickly becomes tedious. The film
takes itself far too seriously when it tries to step beyond
straight satire. After all, these are practically Muppets
we are looking at and some of the sexual play is more
akin to an X-rated Benny Hill rerun than Sade's work.
This is an "art film," and an experimental one. It de-
serves credit for its innovation, its expressive art direc-
tion, and its often infective humor. All of this makes
"Marquis" a memorable and distinct experience.
MARQUIS plays tonight at 7:30 & 9:30 at MLB 4.
can music. Patterson also works lo-
cally and nationally to expand musi-
cal opportunities for under under-
WILLIS C. PAITERSON will give a
recital tonight at 8 at the Music
School Recital Hall. Admission is
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Continued from page 8
The second half of the play was
far better - the con men got things
rolling. Carlino (Thom Johnson)
took off as he neurotically wiped ev-
erything he left a finger or chinprint
on. The only major pitfall was Roat,
Sr. (Hunt). You couldn't understand
him unless you were reading his
mind. Overall, the play almost got
the audience to the edge of their
seats. "Dark" was enjoyable, but you
had to wait for the second half for
things to get interesting.
Michigan University &
Friday " September 25th " 8:00pm * Bowen Field House
Continued from page 9
Fledermaus" to cheer herself up. "I
cried through the whole thing," she
reminisces of the usually light-
hearted Strauss comedy. "There was
something in me that was totally re-
leased through music."
Music had always been a con-
stant in Warren's life - her mother
was an opera singer - and she had
studied voice for several years.
Upon her return to the States, though
discouraged strongly by others who
have made the same forays into the
professional world, Warren was de-
termined to form a company which
could provide the same kind of ther-
apy she found in Vienna.
Papagena's new show, which
played last weekend in Hamburg, is
called "Politics and Strange Bedfel-
lows." It features a quartet of singers
performing excerpts from operas and
musicals by Puccini, Bernstein,
Verdi, Massenet, and Bock, among
others. As the title suggests, political
themes are the common denomina-
tor. The show opens with a card-
playing scene from "Fiorello."
"That's really what politics is, who
holds the best deck of cards, who's
got the best hand," Warren com-
ments. "There are sexual politics,
family politics ... it really opens up
everything. There's a scene from
'Faust', which is sell-your-soul-to-
the-devil politics. 'Trouble in
Tahiti,' that's family politics. We're
talking family values there ... take
any theme from this year's election,"
The cast consists of local singers:
Maria Cimarelli, soprano (Frances
Brockington performs in her place
on Sunday); Ruth DeBoer, mezzo-
soprano; tenor David Troiano; and
baritone Scott Jensen, who also di-
rected the production. Warren notes
that Ann Arbor isn't lacking talented
musicians, and says that in forming
her company, her goal was to pro-
vide paying jobs for vocalists, who
are often expected to perform gratis.
Although most of us associate
opera with enormous music halls,
Warren likes the intimacy of Kerry-
town. "Being right next to a singer,
you hear the full beauty of the
voice," she says, "nothing is hidden
... the performer might sing to
somebody in the audience, or brush
by them going down the aisle. In our
shows, the audience is so much a
part of the production." Warren's
voice softens when she describes
how a singer inhabits her role: "The
true performer has the essence of the
role in her, even if it's just one aria;
we've got Maria singing 'Un bel di',
and all of a sudden when she's
Madama Butterfly, she's trans-
formed, you can just see her."
Suddenly, Warren's eyes light up
and she ventures another connection
between opera and politics. Perform-
ing, she says, is "total exposure" of
one's being, "it makes a performer
different from a politician. A politi-
cian can't really bare his soul, but he
has to look like he does. True opera
singers have to bare so much of
themselves, and politicians can
never do that."
POLITICS AND OTHER STRANGE
BEDFELLOWS runs at the Kerry-
town Concert House through Sun-
day. Call 769-2999 for information.
' . + <
Available at all TicketMaster locations and
6TH AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-9700
53 5DAILY SHOWS BEFORE 6 PM
1$3.2 V ALL DAY TUESDAY' -exceptions
STUDENT WITH I.O. $3.50
SARAHM f4:5, 7:05,98:15
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* *hoopi Goldberg * *2:1,4:,