Monday, September 22, 2014

Down and then Up at the Opera --- Day 3/250

Walk: Cinema Club (Force Majeure), SF Opera (Susannah)
Distance: 4 miles

rembrandt susanna 1936 resized 600
Rembrandt.  Susanna, 1636.  Oil on panel, approximately 19" by 15".
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague 


Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889–1975). 
Susanna and the Elders, 1938, Oil and tempera on canvas mounted on wood panel. 60 x 42 in. 

Susanna(h).  However you spell it, It's an ancient story- small town/village intolerance, hypocritical, punishing religiosity and mob rule- with many variations throughout history and the world*, but always so harrowing in whatever medium.

The uplift after the harrow was Patricia Racette receiving the highest medal awarded by the San Francisco Opera Company at the end of her stunning performance of Susannah. The medal honored her 25th anniversary with the company; previous awardees include the likes of Leontyne Price, Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo, Samuel Ramey.  Quite some medal!   Such occasions are always so rousing - even the director of the Opera (and Racette's friend) had tears running down his cheeks as did Racette and most of the orchestra, chorus and audience.  Awww...

* Some American examples include: Huckleberry Finn/Mark Twain, The Lottery/Shirley Jackson, The Crucible/Arthur Miller, To KillMockingbirdll a /Harper Lee and many more.

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