Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Comedy of Errors

1.  The theater was Drayton Hall and is classified under a Proscenium Arch Stage.  The theater was large, but not huge.  However, there was a good bit of seating.  The stage was quite large as well.  The set was very bright and had many "buildings."  It was as if it was a little village and there were about 4 two story walk-ups.  The set was very lit and happy.  The costumes were outrageous and very colorful and funny.  It was a crazy mixture of colors and patterns put together into one.  Also, every actors hair was a crazy color.  This was very entertaining to watch.

2.  The place is supposed to take place in the Ancient Greek period in Ephesus, Greece.  The author is William Shakespeare.  Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, also known as the Renaissance.  He lived from 1564-1616, but his works are still a huge part of our society.

3.  The plot of this play is very complex and confusing.  Egeon, a father of twins and husband, lost one of his sons and his wife in a shipwreck about 25 years ago.  Egeon is on a search for that son and his wife.  He is now a merchant in Syracuse and he is traveling but gets into trouble because he violates a law about traveling between rival cities.  At the same time, the twin that has been living with Egeon is on a search for his other half as well.  The Duke lets Egeon raise a thousand-mark ransom for saving his life.  We learn that each twin is identical and each has an identical slave named Dromio.  Unknown to Egeon, the lost twin, Antipholus of Syracuse, is visiting Ephesus. Adriana, Antipholus of Ephesus' wife, mistakenly drags Antipholus of Syracuse into her home for dinner and places Dromio of Syracuse at the door to not let anyone enter.  Meanwhile, Antipholus of Ephesus comes back home and is denied at the door.  Inside, Antipholus of Syracuse falls in love with Adriana's sister, Luciana, and she is appalled by her thought to be "brother-in-law's" behavior.  It becomes even more complex when a gold chain is accidentally given to Antipholus of Syracuse, when it was really ordered by the other twin.  Antipholus of Ephesus refuses to pay for the chain since he "never received it," and is taken to jail for debt.  His wife thinks he has gone crazy so she orders him to be held in the cellar room.  Antipholus of Syracuse and his slave decide to flee the city because they feel it is enchanted but they run into Adriana and the debt officer so they refuge in an abbey.  Adriana begs the Duke to remove her "husband" from the abbey and into her custody.  Her real husband has broken out of jail and goes to the duke to level charges with his wife.  The whole story is figured out by the Abbess, Emilia, who brings out the set of twins and reveals herself as the lost wife of Egeon.  Antipholus of Ephesus makes amends with Adriana.  Egeon is let go by the Duke and is reunited with his wife.  Antipholus of Syracuse continues courtship of Luciana.    And all is well with the two Dromios hugging.

Phantom of the Opera

"Phantom of the Opera" is a movie about a disfigured musical genius that hid himself in the Paris Opera House.  He terrorizes the opera company for a young student whom he trains and falls in love with.  The musical appeared on Broadway in 1988 and was based on a French novel called "Le Fantome de l'Opera."  The "student" is Christine Daae, who is a beautiful soprano in the opera company.  The Phantom orders her to be the lead in all of the operas and will do anything to make that happen.  Whenever someone disobeys, he does something to either hurt them personally or hurt the show.  He is infuriated when Christine's childhood friend, Raoul, professes his love for her.  The Phantom is in love with Christine and tries his hardest to break them up.  The Phantom disappears for awhile, but returns when his masterpiece, Don Juan premieres.  He kills the male singer that is supposed to appear on stage with Christine and joins her for "The Point of No Return."  He then rips his mask off during the song to expose his distorted face to the audience and to Christine, even though she had already realized that it was him.  He then kidnaps her and takes her down to his lair once again.  Raoul follows and the Phantom traps him as asks Christine to choose either the Phantom or watch Raoul die.  Christine kisses the Phantom and tells him that he is not alone.  Therefore, the Phantom lets Raoul go and CChristine gives back the engagement ring that the Phantom gave her.  She leaves, and the Phantom smashes all the mirrors until he exposes a secret passageway behind one that he runs in to as the mob is entering the lair.  Then the movie flashes to the present, when Raoul is placing the music Monkey on Christine's grave, and we then see a rose with the engagement ring tied with a black ribbon to it also lying on her gravestone.

This movie and opera is amazing but very complicated.  There are so many facets to the plot but it is a wonderful story.  I think the ending is great because even though Christine left the Phantom, he professed his love to her and never gave up.  Even after she was gone, he still left his commitment to their love on her grave.  And at the same time, Raoul genuinely loved her too.  It is interesting that he put the monkey on the grave since that symbolizes the Phantom too.  It is as if Raoul understands the love between the Phantom and Christine as well, and he accepts it.  The musical factor to this opera is beautiful and complex.  I really enjoyed the movie and I think it is great how it directly correlates to the Broadway show as well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opera Assignment #8

1.  Opera is when the performance has operatic voice, singing frequent vocal solos with a live orchestra.  The libretto, or the dialogue of an opera, is completely set to music.  A Light Opera incorporates spoken dialogue and is more appealing to a broad audience.  It still has operatic voices and a live orchestra.  Musical Theater is much less demanding and usually contains musical number interspersed with spoken dialogue.  The signing actors are usually equipped with microphones and the music is recorded.

2.  To achieve full range, it requires years of concentrated training and full physical maturity.  Usually an opera singer doesn't reach peak performance until age thirty or older.

3.  La Boheme, by Puccini, is basically about a love between a seamstress named Mimi and a poet named Rodolfo.  They immediately fall in love but Roldofo soon wants to leave her because she is very flirtatious.  Then, Mimi becomes very ill and Roldofo feels bad because their life together has worsened her health.  At the end, they reunite just before Mimi dies.

Theater Assignment #7

1.  The difference between a proscenium stage and a thrust stage is that the thrust stage extends out into the audience on three sides while a proscenium stage is all placed behind the proscenium arch.

2.  A fly gallery is a catwalk that runs from the proscenium wall to the upstage wall where a pin rail sits that is used by the fly crew to control the entire fly system.

3.  A scrim can be used in a variety of ways on the stage.  It is a big piece of fabric that can either be opaque, transparent, or foggy to change the feeling of the scene.  To make it opaque, everything behind it must be unlit and a light can be shined from above or from the sides.  To make it transparent, if the scene behind it is lit but there is no light actually projected on the fabric.  To create a foggy/dreamy look, the scene behind must be entirely lit.