Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lulu - a second run

 ...the two of us at the theatre ...
 ...trying to get the marquee of LULU into our selfie ...
One of the best surprises this morning was meeting Gillian at the National Theatre Live Opera.

She had decided to come, unbeknownst to us and had purchased her ticket ahead of us.

We arrived at the theatre with 8 minutes to spare – just enough time to settle into our seats.

This encore was 9 am – a surprise to Rebecca as well who slipped out of bed thinking she could get in one hour’s work done before we left for the theatre. Everyone lives like that – looking for the time to do a 20 minute job, a 10 minute job, or even a “what can I get done in 90 seconds job”. No, there was only time to grab a banana for food at the intermission, and a piece of bread for breakfast. Sufficient, but not a full scale healthy breakfast. I am keeping to the rule than anything you eat is breakfast, as long as you eat it within 2 hours of getting up.

This was my second viewing of Lulu. I knew I was going back after the first presentation. There is a big why not question if a person has the expendable income and the time and interest. On the second viewing I spent more of my time watching the visuals projected on the screen behind the actors. Marlis Peterson get the five star award for her portrayal of Lulu in this film. She acts, she sings, and she is incredibly flexible, doing one of those moves where she bends down to pick up a piece of paper, but she only bends at the waist and her arms can touch the floor. Everyone seems to be lithe at the opera’s these days. That would be except Schigolch (Franz Grundheber) in Lulu whose first appearance at the Met was over 50 years ago. When he came on stage for his bow he was doing an exaggerated shuffle but he still can do as the younger people in opera and the theatre who are now climbing up and down ladders or running up and down stairs at a rate no 70 year old can manage.

Wyona said she went to see the opera live in Calgary – a composer who has the lush melodies of Mahler, she said. Berg of Lulu was a student of Schoenberg so there was dissonance for the whole four hours. I would hear a theme repeated and hope to hear it again, but then there would be another and then a third so all I could do was gather themes, never really take hold on any of them. Kettridge, the visual artist, said that he had to listen to the opera four times to get a start on it … and then eight times to get a feel for the images he would paint for the backdrop. Lulu is not music I would turn on to peel carrots to in the morning, nor to put on for an evening for easy listening. This is music to listen to with a score in hand, or to see performed and let the visuals and the sound work their own magic.

So … now I have seen it 2 times. Six to go.


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