Saturday, August 2, 2008

STRAVINSKY : THE RAKE'S PROGRESS


Radio New Zealand Concert network
Sunday 6th of December 2015 at 6 - 9 pm (Akl 2013)
Sunday 7th of June 2015 at 6.3 pm
Sunday 3rd of August 2008 at
3 - 5.30 pm

STRAVINSKY: The Rake's Progress, an opera in three acts and an epilogue
Tom Rakewell unwittingly makes a bargain with the Devil, and his ensuing picaresque adventures include marriage to a bearded lady, an encounter with a machine that supposedly turns stones into bread, and ultimately confinement to a madhouse
Tom Rakewell.................. Paul Appleby
Anne Trulove................... Layla Claire
Nick Shadow.................... Gerald Finley
Baba the Turk.................. Stephanie Blythe
Father Trulove................. Brindley Sherratt
Sellem.............................. Tony Stevenson
Mother Goose................... Margaret Lattimore
Keeper of the Madhouse.. Paul Corona
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/James Levine

AUCKLAND 2013
Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
Eckehard Stier CONDUCTOR
Andrew Goodwin TOM RAKEWELL
Madeleine Pierard ANNE TRULOVE
Paul Whelan NICK SHADOW
Liane Keegan BABA THE TURK
Helen Medlyn MOTHER GOOSE
Andrew Glover SELLEM
Nicholas Dinopoulos KEEPER OF THE MADHOUSE
Joshua Bloom FATHER TRULOVE

BACKGROUND
FOREGROUND Hogarth's 8 pictures!
SYNOPSIS (comic script)
LIBRETTO

If you go to the external links at the bottom of that Wikipedia page (BACKGROUND) you will be invited to click and obtain a copy of the libretto (pdf); and if you can not resist the temptation you will find 200 pages (English with French translation) pouring into your machine, and that's big bytes! My Big Mac computer could handle it, but if I had done it on the older iMac (which I use mainly for mail) it could have been disastrous.  The Kareol one (http://kareol.es/obras/therakesprogress/acto1.htm) gives English and Spanish.
   My question to you: Is your rake making any progress? How does your garden grow? (Using the language of Hogarth's time.) It is raining and storming here in New Zealand, wreaking havoc on horticultural enclosures and endeavours.


STRAVINSKY: The Rake's Progress, opera in three acts
Trulove................................... René Schirrer
Anne Trulove.......................... Laura Claycomb
Tom Rakewell........................ Toby Spence
Nick Shadow [Old Nic, Tempter] Laurent Naouri
Mother Goose [brothel madam] Hilary Summers
Baba the Turk [bearded lady] Jane Henschel
Sellem [the auctioneer!]....... Ales Briscein
Keeper of the Madhouse........ Ugo Rabec
Paris National Opera Chorus & Orch/Edward Gardner
(recorded at the Opéra Garnier, Paris )
Beautiful Elisabeth Schwarzkopf played the part of Anne Trulove at the first performance, in Venice in 1951. ( I know that, like most Germans, she had trouble widh English "the" [za], but she conquered it eventually.)
Here is a taste of the text:
TOM RAKEWELL admiring his machine that purports to turn stone into bread:
Thanks to this excellent device
Man shall re-enter Paradise
From which he once was driven.
Secure from need, the cause of crime,
The world shall for the second time
Be similar to heaven.

When to his infinite relief
Toil, hunger, poverty and grief
Have vanished like a dream,
This engine Adam shall excite
To hallelujahs of delight
And ecstasy extreme.
NICK SHADOW
The idle drone and the deserving poor
Will give good money for this toy, be sure.

This shows that Wystan H. Auden and Chester Kallman used rhyming in their libretto.

"I liked it very much. Everything except the music." (Benjamin Britten). So it must be all right, then?

I don't have a recording of the opera, so I am playing some of Stravinsky's symphonic music. In the Song of the Nightingale, the poor little twitterer got stuck on one note, so I had to cut her off, and move on to the two symphonies. The last track on the three-movement symphony, to be played con moto has become far more repetitious and minimalist than the rest, and I have decided it is another seizure; and so I have taken the disc out and cleaned off the fluff (or whatever) and we have gone back to the nightingale.

At the end, as in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, there is a short epilogue. All the principals step out in front of the curtain without their wigs (or beard, in Baba's case) and sing the moral of the morality play: "For idle hands and hearts and minds, the Devil finds work to do".

Previously
If you are in Palmerston North, you will need to record this broadcast, because at 2pm you will be at the Cathedral hearing Guy Donaldson's Renaissance Singers performing works by local composers Graham Parsons and Helen Caskie; at 3pm you will be in Cinema Gold gazing intently at Anna Netrebko as Juliette, in a considerably delayed "live" screening from the Metropera ; at 5pm you will be in Centrepoint theatre admiring Cynthia Fortitude, alias Helen Moulder, opera-singer extraordinaire, making a party-political speech (What about the workers?).

We have an amazing collection of visual aids, which I have culled from the Metropera archives (they did this one in 2003) and elsewhen.
COMPOSER
CHARACTERS
BACKGROUND
FOREGROUND Hogarth's 8 pictures!
UNDERGROUND
ANALYSIS
SYNOPSIS
STORYLINE

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