|While working on my Master of Arts in Performing Arts, at The American University I worked nights and weekends ushering at The Kennedy Center. My book: Exits & Entrances (Author House) includes more details as well. At the KC I saw and heard Janet Baker, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Claudio Abbado, Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, Mstislav Rostropovich, Deutsche Oper, Paris Opera and LaScala !|
Having been weaned on by the NYCity Opera and The Met, LaScala was a revelation from the Verdi Requiem by heart. Wieland Wagner’s LOHENGRIN by the Deutsche Oper !! Verdi’s MACBETH and SIMON BOCCANEGRA in brilliant productions by Giorgio Strehler. These were contrasted by Rossini’s CENERENTOLLA with the debut of Frederica Von Stade to LA BOHEME.
Dramatically I saw extraordinary work from Jane Alexander and Richard Kiley’s in Ibsen’s MASTER BUILDER and Henry James’ WASHINGTON SQUARE. This was followed by an American Bicentennial Series with Jason Robards and Zoe Caldwell in Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT; Irene Worth and Christopher Walken in Tennesse Williams’ SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, Stephen Sondheim’s PACIFIC OVERTURES (World Premiere) and Houston Grand opera’s landmark PORGY & BESS. Dramatic highlights included the US Premiere of unforgettable John Wood in Tom Stoppards’ TRAVESTIES; or The National Theatre production and U.S. Premiere of Harold Pinter’s NO MAN’S LAND with a dazzling John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson in spellbinding synergy from the National Theatre. These first-rate productions graced the Kennedy Center via Roger Stevens. Several came to the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well.
There were awful duds via Broadway tryouts of forgettable musicals to half-empty houses. Odd revues with Lillian Gish and John Raitt way past their prime. Martha Graham chatting about her work for way too long in a semi-inebriated state before her Dance Company performed all at the Opera House. And Lynn Seymour in a dazzling solo dance honoring Isadora Duncan from the Royal Ballet.
“A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”Pope Francis
After grad school and the KC I spent a season working backstage in Milan as a guest of Claudio Abbado. A decade or so later, I was a guest for French Consulate Services as emissary to Lyons France to organize an exhibition with its sister City Paterson ! That included an a focus as part of my 5 Arts Festivals at the Paterson Museum; Paterson Library and most recently a program at the Fair Lawn Library on The French Connection between Lyon and Paterson since the 1880’s.
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danielpquinn684 | Newark, NJ
Great article. There may be ecological hope for us yet. New York always leads the way. NJ just paved over most of the meadowlands unfortunately.
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