Sunday, November 10, 2013

musical outing

This looked like it'd be fun, and it was. B. and I wandered over to Stanford this afternoon to park ourselves in the airy commons room of Toyon Hall, one of the old and colorful dorms, to hear a little program from the Music Department. We had a lot of company, including quite a few small children, only some of whom looked bored.

It was billed as "Romeo and Juliet as told by Charles Gounod and Leonard Bernstein" and consisted of a dozen undergraduate singers and a small instrumental group performing selected arias and ensemble numbers from Roméo et Juliette and West Side Story tossed together in a flash-cut sequence roughly outlining the mutual plot. Juliette sings "Je veux vivre dans le rêve qui m'enivre" and then Tony sings "I just met a girl named Maria." Roméo steps over the corpses of the Jets and Sharks after their rumble to climb a wheeled construction platform, standing in for a balcony, for his final duet with Juliette, in which they sing silly operatic lines like "O joie infinie et suprême - de mourir avec toi!" The corpses lay twitch-free for the entire thing, R & J joined them in immobility, and then everybody stood up for enthused applause.

The singing ranged from passable to very good. Maria was seriously underpowered compared to the rest of the cast, and Roméo wobbled a bit, but senior Praveen Ramesh as Tony made a brave showing in a part that'll test any tenor's manhood, and junior Christina Krawec as Juliette was good enough to go on a local opera company stage right now. B. looked delighted.

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