Sharon Bennett and Blane Shaw star in Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage, an
opera sung in English, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Secret Marriage is
opera for all of us
This coming Saturday and Sunday
nights, Power Center will host The
Secret Marriage, Domenico
Cimarosa's comic opera masterpiece.
Because the opera is such a light-
hearted comedy, and because it will
be performed in English, the produc-
tion should appeal to all.
The Secret Marriage was written in
a very melodic and listenable style -
a style that is also characteristic of
Cimarosa's contemporaries, Rossini
and Mozart. In fact, at its debut in
Vienna in 1792, Emperor Leopold II of
Austria was so enthusiastic about the
opera that he insisted that the cast
repeat the entire opera as an encore.
The opera is being performed by
students in the School of Music. The
music director and conductor for the
production is Zuohuang Chen, a doc-
toral candidate in orchestral conduc-
ting here at the University. Chen
graduated from the Central Conser-
vatory in Peking, and in 1979 became
the first Chinese musician to be sent
abroad for advanced studies in or-
chestral conducting. Faculty at the
School of Music predict that Chen will
become a major influence in Chinese
music in the years to come.
Performances of The Secret
Marriage are at 8 p.m. on both Satur-
day and Sunday nights, July 21 and 22.
Tickets are available from the Ann
Arbor Summer Festival box office in
the Power Center (763-0950) from
noon to 7 p.m. daily, and until cur-
tain time on performance nights.
Tickets cost $12, $10, $8 and $5.
Roger Waters -
'The Pros and Cons of Hitch
Hiking' (CBS Records)
Although some critics would probably
like to rename the (forper?) Pink
Floyd bassist/visionary's first solo ef-
fort The Cons and Cons of Roger
Waters, there really is some redeeming
value to this concept album. But let
Floyd and non-Floyd fanatics alike
beware: the cons significantly outnum-
ber the pros.
The pros: 1) The album cover. I spent
an extra hour flagging down a copy of
The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking with
the original (uncensored) cover. Ap-
parently the record executives at CBS
were less than enthralled with the rear
view of a nude female on the cover, and
strategically plastered an ugly piece of
black tape on the shapely lass. And
you thought the cover dispute in This is
Spinal Tap was facetious silliness! One
can almost hear Tap's lead guitarist
Nigel Tufnel mutter, "What's wrong
with a sexy album cover?" Apparently
Waters failed to find enough of Tufnel's
"fine line between clever and stupid" to
suit the record execs.
2) The lyrics. In a sort of Kerouacian
odyssey, Waters describes the on-the-
road dream adventures of Man. It's
that old story of Man meets Hitch
iker, Waitress, Truck Drivers and
The story serves as the script for the
so-called "spectacular mixed media
production" of the album on this sum-
mer's limited tour of North America
(Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on July
28-29 is the best bet for local Pink Floyd
afficianados). If you can stomach a
healthy dose of the famous Waters'
misanthropy, you'll find his poetry in-
sightful and intriguing. Otherwise, lines
like "You flex your rod! Fish takes the
hook/ Sweet vodka and tobacco in her
breath! Another number in your black
book" might come across as the weary
cynicism of a burnt-out rocker.
The cons: Most of the rest of it, unfor-
tunately. Though the lyrics are up to
Waterian standards, musically Hitch
Hiking is weak. Only Eric Clapton's
backbone blues guitar breathes oc-
casional life into this desert of un-
melodic droning, especially on Sexual
Revolution and the title track.
Theproblem, it seems, is Waters
inability to crawl out from behind the
considerable shadow of 1979's The Wall.
Like last year's disappointing The
Final Cut, Hitch Hiking so freely
borrows its style from The Wall. that
we are left to wonder if. Waters is
making the same album over and over
again, adding new words each time.
Waters and fellow Floyd songwriter
David Gilmour avoided this pitfall a
decade ago by following up the colossal
Dark Side of The Moon with the
profoundly original Wish You Were
Here. Considering the floundering
direction of Water's music, and the
solid success of Gilmour's own About
Face solo release, Waters would do well
to reconcile with this guitarist and start
The Wall was great Roger, but it's
time to tear it down and try something
- Paul Helgren
Fury stands as a classic. Any English
major can tell you that it is one of
America's greatest novels. This
English major slipped on the head-
phones to see if Rough Cut's Sound and
Fury is also a classic.
Carolyn Striho plays the main
character in Rough Cut; her lead
vocals and keyboards dominate the
album, and she wrote or co-wrote all of
the LP's songs, except a cover of the
Stones' "Play with Fire."
There are several different in-
strumentalists listed, but the liner notes
don't specify who plays on what songs.
The key contributions seem to be: Keith
Michael (guitar), Thomas Cicola
(guitar), and Craig Hernandez (bass),
who all share songwriting credits on
various songs with Striho.
Striho's voice is reminiscent of
Chrissie Hynde's, though a little higher
and without Hynde's more notable
mannerisms. Although she sings loudly
and clearly, she doesn't inject enough
passion or feel.
"Play with Fire" suffers because of
the singer's brashness, which doesn't
come close to Jagger's menace. Add to
this the dominant synthesizers and low
guitar mix, the listener finds the sound
tedious and the fury tame.
Bright spots are the excellent bass
and guitar on "Looking for Action" and
"Scene of the Trance." The latter is an
instrumental that is spoiled by
keyboard fills that seem pretentious
and lessen the track's dance appeal.
This song reveals Rough Cut's tenden-
cy to try to be artsy when they can cut
terrific dance grooves.
The last four songs on the LP aren't
exciting, despite liner notes
proclaiming "brave hard noise."
"Search for Something Else" and
"Visions" don't thrill, despite the
second song's nice guitar work.
"Where Did She Go?" contains the
lyric What can she say/Tomorrow is
yesterday which might lead you to read
Faulkner without this album in the
background. "James' Theme" is an in-
strumental that ends the album with a
decided whimper. You're more likely to
fall asleep listening to this than doing
English homework, and that says it all.
- Steve Kaminski
Peter Gabriel - 'Walk
Through The Fire' (Atco)
This single (culled from the other-
wise worthless Against All Odds soun-
dtrack is something of a disappoin-
tment for those of us who had high
Gabriel, one of the few genuinely
powerful lyricist and innovative com-
posers in the mainstream, can usually
be expected to surprise and excite with
each new release. But this short piece is
more of a throw back than a new direc-
All of Gabriel's signatory touches.
quasi-mysticism; slightly sinister little
hooks; and African influenced rhythm
are here: but without any brillance.
The track sounds like an old outtake
from an earlier album, and that's what
it is. On one of my bootlegs from the
sessions for Gabriel's third album, the
song (sans lyrics) is listed as Seascape.
In this surfaced remix, it's essentially
the same song, more polished, but no
While not a bad song, it's easy to un-
derstand its exclusion from any album
to date. Don't expect any airplay, and
invest in it only if you are an adherent (I
- Byron L. Bull
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Rough Cut - 'Sound and
Fury' (Detroit International
Any English major can tell you that
William Faulkner's The Sound and