Puccini, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Dvorak Lots

Puccini, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Dvorak

Lots of music this week. After Pink Martini on Tuesday,
yesterday I went with Andy and Jenny to see Madam
. My first Seattle Opera performance. Thanks
to Jenny for that drink of civilized culture. I've never seen
this opera before, and I was surprised at how straightforward
the plot was. It was a tasteful performance which interprets
the original story in a straightforward fashion.
It's your basic romantic tragedy, though I did think, "This
girl is supposed to be fifteen, and therein lies the seeds
of doom. It's often read as a cultural commentary about Americans
invading other countries, falling in love with the people
and the place, bewitching all with our carefree ways, then
running off, having plundered it of some essential element
of its cultural soul. It's often played that way, as in Miss
Saigon. But hey, any guy marries a fifteen year old and
gets her pregnant, and I guarantee there's an unhappy
ending in their future. At least Pinkerton returns for the
child, though of course it leads to her suicide, which she
chooses for her child's future and to avoid the indignity of
returning to the life of a geisha.
Tonight Christina took me to Andaluca for a birthday dinner,
and I returned the favor by taking her to see the Seattle
Symphony as a late, late birthday present. The guest
conductor was Ingo Metzmacher, and the guest soloist was
Joshua Bell. The pieces:
Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Bernstein: Serenade