Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A night at the opera

John Adams's Dr. Atomic disappoints.  Although brilliant and stimulating as a musical composition, the theatrical elements underwhelm---from the gigantic backdrop of boxes containing the minor characters arrayed in Hollywood Squares fashion to the Big Boy itself, the atomic device shaped as an aluminum ball 12 feet in diameter in a tangled mess of cables and electronic boxes hanging over the stage, the opera was overloaded with all the evident symbols but no real enlightenment.  Native New Mexican American characters flowing on and offstage throughout the drama to remind us of the violation of earth, wind, and sky by this man-made horror.  And a Japanese woman's broadcast voice, softly crying out for water as the scrim descended at the finale. Oy vey.  Two standout singers but a laborious libretto that could easily have been shortened by an hour.  OK, I can't resist--it was almost--but not quite--a bomb.

Tomorrow is Bill Reilly's funeral, and I will attend to pay my respects to a man who mentored my return to NY publishing 9 years ago, when I became Exec VP at Primedia.  Bill was an inspiration to dozens of us who worked closely with him and hundreds more who were touched by his class, his smarts, and his enthusiasms.  Bill was the kind of boss you wanted to do your best for, and I haven't had too many of those before or after in my media career.  

Much good news on the horizon, it seems.  I am holding my breath for the election 2 weeks from tonight.  I am about to let myself feel good about this---more on that tomorrow, along with further thoughts about where we are with the Catastrophe.

Over and out.

No comments:

Post a Comment