Carmen (Opera di Roma)

November 19, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
CarmenPoster

2017, Opera di Roma Border Control, Under the Volcano and Breaking Bad meet in this production of Opera di Roma, disastrously staged & directed by Valentina Carrasco.  Of which more later, but whilst any dumb directorial decision cannot defeat Carmen, it may nevertheless diminish it somewhat. Set impressively in the Roman Baths at the Terme di Caracalla (one was reminded of pop concerts at Red Rocks), the music stood out, with conductor Jesús López-Cobos content to let it do its own work in the main, and the leads in fine voice.  Veronica Simeoni is a fine exemplar of Bel Canto, although she…

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Robert Louis Stevenson

November 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Books, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Painting of RLS by Count Girolamo Nerli (1892)

Painting of RLS by Count Girolamo Nerli (1892)

Born 13 November 1850 Stevenson went from the writer of ‘Boy’s Own’ stories and developed into an accomplished and beloved writer who is likely to have got better and better had he not died from chronic ill health aged 44. J. P. Priestey wrote in Literature and Western Man (1960) “Stevenson’s enormous popularity, partly the result of his narrative gift but also the reward of his style, which has an unusual and very personal grace and charm (and some of his sourer critics might try to learn something from it before dismissing it as a mere trick), has now lasted…

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OK, Corral

November 10, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
OK

Gunfight at OK Corral (1957), directed by John Sturges; Tombstone (1993), directed by George P. Cosmatos. This legendary reckoning between the Earps and the Clantons was a lot more ambiguous than portrayed in these films, it didn’t take place at the OK Corral, and it only lasted 30 seconds or so.  Tombstone is a lot closer to historical fact than John Sturges’ 1957 effort, yet it takes a fair while to get going, and somehow lacks the cohesive force of the earlier film.  Kurt Russell is a stout and steely Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer (who has the best lines) is impressive as…

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Blow-Up

November 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
B-Uphoto

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966) As part of the British Film Festival in Adelaide, this 1960’s classic returned to the big screen on 6 November 2017.  It is the film encapsulation of ‘swinging London’ – Preening celebrity photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) swings from high art to low fashion to taking random snaps of lovers in Maryon Park.  But the girl (a typical vacant, open-mouthed Vanessa Redgrave) protests, too much methinks; regretfully, Thomas has too much sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on his giddy mind to notice. After parrying the girl’s entreaties to return the film, he develops the roll…

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“Once More, With Feeling”

November 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA |
Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Hans Sachs (born 5 November 1494, in Nuremburg), was an early version of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Carole King, Elvis Costello, all the great songsmiths and wordsmiths of popular music. Thing is, he did it solely for glory, not bread and jam; for the latter, he kept his day job. For his life, he got one of the great operas of all time; today, he gets birthday wishes from The Varnished Culture.

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