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nel`chee

Craziest review so far! ~ Wednesday, April 23, 2008



St. John Passion on Good Friday
Likely the craziest circumstances under which I've had to write a review, bar none--so far. And hopefully, the craziest ever. I arrived a little later than usual, only to learn that the room at the back, beside Terry, the lighting guy, had been co-opted by the CBC to record the performance. I guess national media trumps local media.

BUT, it turned out the viewing room, with the t.v. monitor that they used to have set up back stage for the Record reviewer was no longer there--they'd renovated, realised no-one was using it and ditched it. A frantic call to the Record revealed that they were expecting the review and had reserved the space for it.

So, I ended up in the lobby, watching the review on tiny monitors--that didn't actually show the multi-media presentation (I had to ask someone in the lobby during the intermission about that--what were the paintings and how well they went with the text/narrative. It seemed like they were closely matched). In additon, the sound was faint, and the two women at the vending stalls were gossiping about something or another, and so I could barely hear the soloists--one or two of them sounded strong, but I was in no position to judge nuance.

As well, there was no access to the surtitles that they projected in the theatre--the monitors didn't include those, and even if they did, they likely would have been unreadable. Thank goodness, at least, I am able to get onto Terry's wireless network and from there, the internet. A quick search and I was able to track down a copy of the libretto in German, with English translations beside it. Because I couldn't hear any of it properly, only barely making out the words because the sound was so faint, the moment I lost the thread of what was being sung (i.e. the chatty refreshments servers spoke more loudly or started laughing), it was impossible to find my place. So, I just read through the libretto, and wrote from there.

Hence, the focus on thematic motifs. I felt I gave short shrift to the performance itself, alas--but there was little else I could do. But, I did speak to the editor who has followed up and ensured that we will be forewarned of the future presence of the CBC, so we can make alternate arrangements in the future. Whew!

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 12:17 PM::::

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Anduril Elessar
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Susan Deefholts

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