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A Dyke About Town: Classical music and texting
A Dyke About Town: Classical music and texting
by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Mercy and Cuteness went to the Metropolitan Opera encore broadcast of La Rondine. Marco Armiliato conducted the met orchestra playing Puccini's music flawlessly. A fun aspect of this performance was that the singers in the principal roles were married in real life. Angela Gheorgiu and Roberto Alagna's romantic chemistry and voices were electric. Marius Brenciu and Lisette Oropesa sang beautifully in their comic roles. Deliberation Nonce feels the members of the audience at the met movies are more his kind of people than the ones at the opera house.

In the HD broadcast of the Met's Orfeo Ed Euridice, the Gay angle was easy to find, as Assonance Blankverse said. It was very satisfying to watch Stephanie Blythe in the pants role of Orfeo pursuing Danielle de Niese as Euridice as far as the underworld. Both women's voices were wonderful, and the marriage they portrayed was compelling. In an interview at intermission Mark Morris, the choreographer, acknowledged being an old opera queen. Mercy liked the same sex pairings he included in the dance. Cuteness says he does that frequently. One of the nice things about seeing these broadcasts is being able to look at Conductor James Levine's face, which has nice lines on it.

Mercy and Cuteness had planned to go to the Seattle Chamber Music Society (SCMS) Winter Festival together, but Cuteness had to cancel out of the first night because there was an art show at her daughter, Equality's, Middle School. Cuteness figured this out at the last moment, so Mercy was frantically trying to find someone to use the second ticket. The two had dinner beforehand with Clarity and Joy Chamberflute, who have been attending the festival all of the 11 years it has been running. The question arose whether the tradition would be undermined by the economy, but staff says attendance was almost as good as it was, last year. It seems people make this music a priority.

The summer chamber music festival is at Stevens School. The music is piped to the outdoors, so people can sit on lawns and listen. Mercy had done this before, and enjoyed the combination of melody, grass and trees. Seeing the festival in person, this time, she sees what Clarity and Joy like about the interactions among the performers. Anton Nel, Ole Akahoshi and Amy Schwartz Moretti, on piano, cello and violin gave a good example of this in the Beethoven trio that started the evening. Clarity says he can see when a key change is coming by the lift of the violinist's eyebrows. Joy particularly enjoyed Sean Osborn's clarinet and Gilles Vonsattel's piano in Lutoslawski's dance preludes. She liked the fact that it was different from the rest of the SCMS fare.

Violinist Stefan Jackiw, in the Brahms sextet that followed, by contrast, closed his eyes throughout the performance. That made it hard for Lily Francis on violin, Richard O'Neill and David Harding on viola, and Bion Tsang and Toby Saks on cello to know what he was thinking. Clarity points out that the distance the six were spaced out also made it hard for them to communicate. He plays with flute ensembles that try to sit as close together as possible, even though they have to get around some large instruments.

The following evening started with a recital by Gilles Vonsattel playing Ravel's "Gaspard de la nuit." Mercy can see why those free parts of the festival are Clarity's favorite part. Vonsattel explained what attracted him about the piece and translated the poems it was based on. The performance was particularly resonant, because of the meaning the music had for the performer.

Cuteness managed to make it to the festival in time to hear the recital, then, joined Mercy inside for the rest of the evening. Anton Nel's piano playing in the Martinu sonata that opened the evening was delicious. Lorna McGhee's flute provided a breath of fresh air. Lily Francis, Amy Schwartz, David Harding, Richard O'Neill and Ole Akahashi clicked in the Mendelssohn string quintet that followed. Stefan Jackiw's face in Tchaikovsky's trio was unreadable, as it had been the night before. Cuteness would have liked him to have taken the time to tuck in his shirt. But he did tear up the challenging piece along with cellist Bion Tsang and pianist Gilles Vonsattel. Clarity said part of the fun of that piece was listening to Tchaikovksky's satires of other composers.

Mercy told Assonance Blankverse there were some musicians at the festival that gave her hope for the future of chamber music. Assonance said there is no lack of those. What concerns her is how few young people there are in the audience of SCMS concerts. Mercy is going to remind readers to check out the SCMS summer festival, including the lawn listening, closer to time.

Mercy enjoyed reading Sparkling Rain, edited by Barbara Summerhawk and Kimberly Hughes. The book is a collection of fiction from Japanese Lesbians. It was good to learn about the different situation Lesbians find themselves in Japan. She particularly liked "Monalisa Night," by Izumo Marou, about an evening at a Lesbian bar in Tokyo. Mori Natsubo's "Junko's After-School Project" was a fun schoolgirl tale. "The Pink Drink," by Narihara Akira, had some nice turns. "Plica Chan," by Amamiya Sae is a comic strip that has a lot in common with Alison Bechdel's "Dykes to Watch Out For." Some of the rest of the stories needed some editing.

Mercy has decided she had been a bit rash writing off The L-Word, in the past. Sharing it with the packed audience that has been coming to Theater Off Jackson (TOJ) for four years is fun. What had bothered her was that it is a soap opera, but it is, after all OUR soap opera. It is such huge progress over those old years when movies about Lesbians had to end with a tree falling on the butch.

Mercy and Cuteness have a bet going about the show. Mercy said she thought the majority of the characters were under 40, because so many of them text. Cuteness thinks they are older, and points out that women over 40 can text. Admittedly, Mercy just learned to text from Cuteness' 12-year-old daughter, Equality. But it is never going to be the way she expresses herself. Cuteness has been looking up the ages of the actresses in the show. Mercy points out that actresses can play older or younger than their age. The two may have to poll watchers. Cuteness thinks, because the women who watch at TOJ are in their 20s for the most part, they may tend to underestimate the ages. TOJ continues to broadcast The L-Word. Come check it out, and weigh in on this important issue.

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