Penelope Opera

Hi there,

I just wanted to share with you all that my place of work, Manhattan School of Music, is having an opera event- Gabriel Faure's Penelope. I'm attending the event this evening (Wednesday, Dec 9). Here is a link:

On the program it is written: Penelope is the story of Ulysses returning to his wife Penelope after the Trojan War and the revenge he takes on her suitors.

I read a little more on the play, and it's quite intriguing. I have seen snippets of this tale, not through plays but through other venues like..Xena, an episode called Ulysses (Roman version). But we get a small glimpse of Penelope, and the golden bow of which she asks suitors to string, in order to win her hand. I do love the fact that Loreena, takes it from Penelope's point of view as she mentions on her video "Nights From The Alhambra". How hard it was for her to be away, from her husband, who is at war for so long. And she, just waiting, for his return. I love it that Loreena had written in her Ancient Muse CD booklet "we hear not only the voices of those doing the leaving....but also the voices of those who are left behind."

Once I have seen the show, I will share a review with you.
Original Post

Aftermath of the Opera

I attended the Penelope Opera and it was quite wonderful. I was not able to see the second act, as I was a bit far from home, and had to watch the trains, for they do not run too frequently late in the evening.

The Stage
The stage was not huge, but the set was incredible. On the right hand side of the stage, there were three large pillars, one on top of the other. One pillar depicted a rose that was closed. The second, the rose is in full bloom. The third, the rose is closed and withered.

In the beginning of the play, we met Penelope's, maidens. Her maidens, speaking in Latin tongues, talked of the suitors of Penelope. The suitors then entered in, and demanded the maidens to bring Penelope, or they would barge in to get her. These beautiful maidens, light as feathers, together created a barrier, in order not to give passage to the suitors. We then meet Euryclee, a strong woman, Ulysses's nurse, who scolded the suitors, but was over thrown by them. Then finally came Penelope. A hush could be heard, as the suitors were mesmerized by her. Penelope rejects their advances. And uses trickery to keep them at bay. Penelope go to weave, slowly, one thread at a time. The suitors said they would wait. And so they did, drinking wine until late hours of the night, waiting. But finally they give up. As Penelope sees this, despair comes to her, and she leaves the stage. Then later, we meet the beggar, who suddenly appeared in the top pillar where the rose that was closed. The pillar of the rose, was a screen, allowing the appearance of the beggar to almost seem like a dream. The beggar was Ulysses. As he did not yet reveal himself to Penelope, as she was in anguish; for the suitors discovered her trickery in trying to keep them at bay. At the end of the first act, Penelope seeks advice from the Gods, and to ask what her fate shall be. The beggar said to Penelope not to loose hope. And for her to have hope. Penelope says, she will always have hope.

Really wonderful! The singing was breath taking. Thank you for allowing to share this with you.

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