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October 07, 1999 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

.9116 Amok Adilk . . . .

68 - -e Michigan Daily - Wedk dy etc. Magazine - Thut y, October-7,1999,


The Michigan D0 --Weekend, etc

Chicago's Lyric Opera welcomes Bolcom

Photo Ilustration byJessica Johnson/DAIL
The wonders of internet shopping might ease this man's anguish. See page 12B.

One of the great aspects of the
Internet is that, through e-mail, you
can pretty much contact anyone you
wish, even public figures and celebri-
ties who would be unapproachable
through other means.
So I take full advantage of this
wonder of com-
Here are
some choice
excerpts from
emails that I've
sent to a num-
ber of celebrity-
type people,
and, lucky me,
I've eveny
received a few
To: Sugar Chris Kula
Ray (sell-
outs@atlanti- unsung
crecords.com) Ann Arbor
"Hey, Sugar
Ray! I was just
wondering if there was any way in
which you could pander more towards
14 year-old girls? That's a market you
haven't really tapped yet."
Oblivious to my dripping sarcasm,
Mark "Sugar Ray" McGrath wrote
back like so:
"Actually, Kula, there is! We hap-
pen to be recording a song with Justin
and J.C. from N'Sync called "Girl,
Every Morning You Tear up My
Heart, Girl." In the next few weeks,
you'll be able to hear it featured in
every single television program cur-
rently airing on the WB."
To: -University President Lee
Bollinger (bigdaddy@umich.edu)
"President Bollinger, I love this
University and all its various peoples.
But isn't there something we can do
about musical theatre majors, what
with their singing and prancing and
flamboyant tomfoolery?"
To: Fred Durst (angry'midget

"Hi, Fred. I'm selling coo
help raise funds for a se
abroad. Would you care t
Fred's response?
"Hey, Kula: you can take tha
ie and stick it up your - yeah
it up your - yeah!"
To: Don Ohlmeyer, presid
NBC (must seetv@nbc.comr)
"Don, I feel that I speakf
American public when I say 1
are ready for the return of perh
greatest show to ever grace t
waves. And that show is
Belvedere."' (Still waiting on
hooks for a response to this on
To: Nick Saban, Michigan
University head football coac
ban@pilot. nsu. edu)
"So, coach, is your team pL
on folding before or after theI
Saban's response simply sai
you're so silly - we're not pL
on showing up at all!"
To: Roger McNamara,
Executive Officer of Genera
(cereal king@gmills.com)
"How DO they cram all th
To: Chris Rock
@cornedy. net)
"So, Mr. Rock, at what tin
Eddie Murphy actually se
comedic soul to you?"
To: Jim Henson, Jr. (bi
@sesamestreet. com)
"I think you should reveal
public what's really going on b
Bert and Ernie during their
Fun Bathtime Hour. And I th
about time that Oscar came ou
'trash can,' if you get my drift
To: Jean-Claude Van Damn
ous_actor@actionstars. com)
"Not that I condone suici
after you starred alongside
Rodman in that mind-numbing

kies to
o buy
t cook-
h! Stick
lent of
for the
that we
aps the
:he air-
s Mr.
n State
h (nsa-
half on
d "Oh,

ple of modern film, "Double Team,"
you probably thought long and hard
about taking your own life, didn't
The Belgian actor overcame his
struggle with the English language
long enough to write me this reply:
"Kula, every time I turn on TNT and
see that they are showing either
"Bloodsport" or "Kickboxer" in a
continuous loop, I reach for my bottle
of pills."
"P.S. Watch for me this winter in
"School of Death," where I play a for-
mer Special Forces officer turned
day-care worker who's forced to use
his deadly combat skills to clean up a
neighborhood playground. It should
be a really nice departure for me!"
To: Christina Aguilera (jailbait
@mickev mouseclub. comn)
"Dearest Christina, when you say
that you need to be 'rubbed the right
way,' are you being literal? Because
I'd be more than happy to give it a

Continued from Page 2B
"Many times he will comment on
the action," Bolcom said, "which is
one of the things Miller wanted to do
in the original version of the play."
"It's a good example of how opera
is concentrated (compared to the-
atre)," Bolcom said. "In Verdi's
'Otello,' the whole first act of
Shakespeare's play is gone."
Miller has written a new aria for
the character of Marco, who mostly
remains silent in the play, even
though he is the catalyst for the cli-
max. For operatic purposes, the char-
acter receives a stronger voice and an
aria about the frustration and help-
lessness of the immigrant.
"Marco needed more of a presence
in the opera," Bolcom said, "because
he's such a strong influence in the
Working with the legendary
Arthur Miller was an inspiration for
Bolcom, who is thankful for Miller's
readiness at tinkering with the 44-
year-old play.
"Arthur was not only cooperative
in working with us, he was also
enthusiastic of remaking the play
into an opera," said Bolcom, who
had previously teamed with Miller
for 1994's "Broken Glass," the play
for which Bolcom wrote pieces to be
played by an onstage cellist.
Miller's "A View from the Bridge"
has 15 characters. Bolcom's opera is
complete with 13 soloists, 48 chorus
members and an orchestra of 75
"We had to expand the role of the
chorus," Bolcom said, referring to its
function in the Greek sense of the

"Opera needs very direct, funda-
mental passion, and the play always
had that by design," Miller told the
New York Times in August. "I wrote
it as a modern-day replication of the
Greek tragedies."
Miller's play is a perfect vehicle
for an American opera because its
themes of immigration and success
are the very essence of American
culture from the time period.
"I think right now, the elements
making American opera are unique.
It will be a type of artform that will
be really ours, such as jazz or the
blues," Bolcom said.
Opera written in the English lan-
guage is often scoffed by purists who
believe that any opera not from
Europe isn't worth the price of a bal-
cony seat. But like all opera, Bolcom
urged, American opera is affected by
its cultural influences.
"All European opera is affected by
folk sources of their respective cul-
tures," Bolcom said. "Every culture's
opera ... French, German, Czech ...
if you translate it into English, you
can't get the same particular
rhythms. American composers
weren't doing this until 'Porgy and
Bess.' Some people felt it was artifi-
cial. Dubose Heyward wrote it as
how people presumably did talk," he
Weinstein recalled the dialect of
'50s Brooklyn when writing the
libretto, Bolcom said, giving the lan-
guage a very American feel. For his
part, Bolcom, too, found inspiration
from the Italian-American culture of
the era when composing the opera.
"There's a lot of influence of
1950s doo-wop in the score,"
Bolcom said. "It's very American."
The attraction to the story lies not

just within the music, or just the
story, but in a combination of all
operatic aspects. But Miller warned
the New York Times: "After all, we
go to the opera to hear the music."
"Americans want to have the the-
atrical experience too," Bolcom said,
"so we've tried to make the theatrical
values as strong as the musical val-
The significance of the premiere
of "View" lies in its possibility to
enter the traditional operatic reperto-
ry. It is foregoing talk by critics and
artists as being one of the first
operas in years to have a shot at the
canon. Of the 100-plus premieres of
American operas in the '90s, few
have seen second productions, let
alone seasonal foot-holds.
The quest for new American opera
has grown stronger in recent years,
with the country's largest opera com-
panies commissioning new works
from American composers. Last year
saw the world premiere of Andre
Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire"
at the San Francisco Opera, and this
December Jay Gatsby will premiere
on the New York stage when John
Harbison's operatic rendering of F.
Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great
Gatsby" debuts at the Metropolitan
"A View from the Bridge" will be

directed by Frank Gal
famous for his recent dire
umph of Broadway's "
Soprano Catherine Ma
scheduled to sing the
Beatrice, wife to Kim J
Eddie Carbone. Juliana R
expected to sing the
Catherine, Eddie's niece v
him with the lust that coi
ultimately destroys him.
With the weight of e
and anticipatory ticket sal
a sellout, Bolcom is lookin
to the premiere, but not
Come to hear
of Catholic th,

When your plate is full
but your soul isn't.
Campui Chapel ministriei


Instead of receiving a response via
Chief email, I found a nifty little restraining
, Mills order in my mailbox the next day. I
guess the young lady's got some
at gra- lawyers in a bottle, too.
To: Billy Blanks (ass-
(nat_x kicking_taskmaster@taebo.com)
"Mr. Blanks, do you actually use
me did your Tae Bo videos?"
ell his Billy's response was as follows.
"Man, hell no," he wrote, "you
g_bird think I wanna look stupid? I'll leave
that to all those college girls who
to the bought the damn thing when they saw
etween that infomercial over and over again
Happy while they were watching 'Party of
hink it's Five' in the dorms."
at of the To: Dave Matthews (dave
." @fratrock.com)
ie (seri- "Hey, Dave, what's the deal with
the new live album you've got coming
de, but out?"
Dennis The response I got from Matthews
g exam- was a paragraph of convoluted non-
sense words and jumbled phrases like
- the following excerpt:
"Arggh feellike I yeahaah hiiiigh-
E hh, goingoinilovve aahh yeah Carter
Beauford on the drums, Carter
Beauford on the drums!"
It turns out that was the band's offi-
cial press release, as dictated by
Matthews himself.
To: David Letterman (snaggle-
tooth icbs.com)
"Mr. Letterman, do you think that I
might have a chance as a television
writer, maybe for a show like yours?"
Dave replied: "Kula, can I call you
Pete? Well, Pete, after reading this lat-
est 'column' of yours, I think that you
should stay on your computer and
search for God's personal e-mail
address, because it will take a small
miracle for you to go anywhere
beyond the Weekend edition of the
Michigan Daily. But good luck to
~T you, Pete'"'
-Speaking of e-mail, Chris Kula
can be reached at ckula@umich.edu,
and if you e-mail him, he promises to
respond in an even fTnnier manner
than those listed above. Of course,
that's not saying all that much, but
you get the idea...

E. Liberty off State


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