September 30th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

My first pie

A pie-update and a submission to pockawida's Sonnet Challenge all in one!

The Crisco'd crust rolled out in shattered shards -
I pasted them with water 'way from harm -
too cold, too wet, but rich with veggie lards -
the rolling should be when the dough's more warm.
From orchard pluck'd, the apples all arrayed
with cinnamon and sugar both mixed in,
lay in the crust, as thus directions bade.
I checked them in the oven once again.
The smoke detector rang - we opened doors.
The pie was bubbling with its blackened juice.
Yet, with its hour down, 'twas barely burned
with blackness from the oven's hell-hot roars.
'Twas justly done, a test-knife did adduce -
And so to perfect pieness we adjourned.
Fishy Circumstances

Lucia di Lammermoor

Donizetti sure wrote good music: fun, engrossing, easy-to-listen-to music with clear melodic lines and lovely harmonies. The COC production had a fairly solid batch of singers this time around too, especially their Lucia. Also on the good side, I had just about the best seat I've ever had for a COC production: row U, right in the middle. It was lovely, and it meant I didn't have strange viewlines.

On the less good side...The sets had some promise, but were ultimately rather bland and made the singers look tiny. They were made worse when bright, glaring lights were shone on them in lurid, blindingly bright colors. In general, I wasn't too thrilled with the lighting job. The low point was a moon-like thing which shone over the set in the final act, illuminated to such an electric blue that I couldn't see the singer, eclipsed as he was by the moon thingie. Worse, the moon-object looked more like an advertisement for the COC's ongoing Ring cycle production than an actual bit of scenery designed for this particular production. The costuming was bland and the staging not particularly inspired, particularly the use of those red-veiled women. Also, as the gentleman with season tickets sitting next to me observed, none of the men were acting. Their singing was fine, but really, Lucia was about the only singer doing any acting in this opera.

Also, there was a serious disconnect between the music and the plot. Donizetti's music was bright and perky, even when tragic and sad things were happening or being sung about. The music flirted briefly with brooding in the final scenes, but it never lasted long. On the bright side, this meant I left a tragic opera in an upbeat mood.

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