[Milton-L] Samson Agonistes performed Oct 14th in NYC

Arlene M Stiebel amstiebel at verizon.net
Wed Oct 16 21:19:20 EDT 2013


Why not just go for the gold and mount a production of Handel's Samson?

With the appropriate voices, of course. 

-- Arlene

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 16, 2013, at 5:08 PM, srevard at siue.edu wrote:

> This is yet once more Stella Revard's husband Carter:  first, to say this has
> been a very educational and interesting thread, and as Richard Strier said
> well, Dave's blog (and Jeffrey's program note I would add) have contributed
> splendidly.
> 
> I just want to say that the new Director at the National Theatre in London,
> Rufus Norris (see Oct. 16 NYT Arts Pages), should stage Samson Agonistes. If
> only Dylan Thomas had recorded all of Milton:  the finest reader of English
> poetry of the 20th century, better by far than Richard Burton who was very good
> indeed. Imagine what he could do with a Milton sonnet, or Lycidas.  I think the
> casting of a Samson performance should put the voice-acting first, not the
> glamour or acting ability--in other words, do this as the OPERA it really is,
> with all the dramatic music alive in the voices. Think of  Pavarotti, Zhinka
> Milanov, Flagstad, Melchior, Jonas Kaufmann, listen to them and learn.  Of
> course Helen Mirren could surely do a great Dalila, James Earl Jones a Manoa or
> a Samson....
> 
> 
> Quoting "Harper, Dave LTC MIL USA USMA" <Dave.Harper at usma.edu>:
> 
>> Greg -
>> 
>> Samson did indeed have a full head of hair, although perhaps not so many
>> locks as to be "redundant."
>> 
>> It is interesting to consider where the boundaries between a "reading" and
>> "performance" begin and end. This Samson was not "staged," but gestures,
>> expressions, reactions from the chorus, etc. often blurred the lines. Unlike
>> some readings, this had clearly been rehearsed and there was clear direction
>> at some points.
>> 
>> While teaching SA, I might consider having my students read portions of the
>> drama to consider what interpretive choices they might make in the process.
>> 
>> Best,
>> Dave
>> 
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