..this past week I presented the program Crossing A Barrier of Footlights, in which I spoke of Madame Lillian Evanti, the National Negro Opera Company and Mary Cardwell Dawson. …the second session, which took place at the Georgetown Library, was attended by students from the Filmore School, an arts curriculum public school. These students were eager and sharp as tacks; their questions were engaged and inquisitive; the adult audience that attended, responded to these students with delight and encouragement.
These days of instant ‘access’, where information remains available for placing and plucking in the ‘cloud’, and history can be found in motion at You Tube, museums, to my mind, seem often to be overstepped, and their place as primary sources that can offer more visceral ‘context’ to an investigation of history or excavation of information, are second thoughts for the average Indiana Jones..
..It has always been my contention that community serves as the repository of local histories; the wealth of stories that rest unspoken, in the deeper levels of community memory, still remain connected to history; a name, spoken again, can suddenly reveal astonishing resonance and reach, as it reverberates out of the past, with incidents and events of a life’s journey.
..what are we to take from the news these days..? That flagrant and inappropriate behavior is not only some form of norm, but a justifiable nuance of society..? That conscientiousness and a full hearted sense of giving should only be opportunities for 15 minutes of fame in a daily news program, or pitched as paragon and served as a new game show..?
Incorporated into the WNO/Kennedy Center/DC Public School “Creating Opera” program, is a presentation of an operatic work, out of the WNO season, which is reduced to a one hour, kid friendly, bite size performance. This year’s presentation is Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte –an operatic jewel, refracting a dissection of characters; a comedy, and a six hander: 2 sisters, their 2 lovers, a rumpled philosopher, and a maid.