November 11, 2002
Not Exactly A Review
I went to see Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Médée at the Opera Atelier in Toronto yesterday. I'm not qualified to comment on the performance, though it seemed more than competent, but a couple of things caught my attention:
Posted by Dr. Weevil at November 11, 2002 11:42 AM
- In one scene, Medea (Médée) called on spirits from the Underworld to help her poison the robe. These consisted of women in long dresses and naked men. The men were not actually naked, but wore flesh-colored tights, so they looked like a bunch of anatomically-incorrect prancing Ken dolls. I suppose a man who is surrounded by beautiful and (presumably) wicked women, but lacks genitalia, is truly in Hell. Surely hairy goat-leg pants, tails, and hoof-shaped shoes would have been more effective? Such a costume would have provided a nice conflation of Christian devils with pagan satyrs.
- The plot was a lot closer to Euripides and Seneca than I had feared. There was a certain amount of added love interest, with Aegeus subtracted and Oronte, prince of Argos, added as disappointed rival for the love of Creusa. He also provides an additional victim, since Creon goes mad and kills him before killing himself. Medea's murder of her children is also glossed over. Also the flaming robe is not contagious, which allows Jason a tender goodbye to the dying Creusa with lots of hugs.
"I suppose a man who is surrounded by beautiful and (presumably) wicked women, but lacks genitalia, is truly in Hell."
Like the old "Pat & Mike" joke, but backwards:
Mike dies first, then Pat, who arrives in the afterlife and, seeing Mike escorting a beautiful woman and holding a bottle of whiskey, assumes he has reached heaven.
But Mike sets him straight: "Pat! This bottle's got a big hole in it! But this woman ... "
Sorry. Couldn't help it.