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

Kemmer Anderson kanderso at mccallie.org
Thu Oct 17 10:11:10 EDT 2013


Carter I like the James Earl Jones cast because the subtext of the American
slave narratives seemed to have a slave named Samson. Peter Jefferson had a
slave named Samson working on building a mill at Shadwell. The image would
play well but the operatic voices and setting would reshape Milton's words.
I was wondering coming down the mountain today if Handel's Samson was
enacted in America at NY or Williamsburg....Kemmer Anderson


On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 8:08 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
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
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> > Subject: Milton-L Digest, Vol 83, Issue 17
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