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12.7.10

DCist: Fringe Festival

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The Capital Fringe Festival is under way, and you can check out my reviews of two relevant offerings -- a condensed version of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty for puppets and a staging of Pasatieri's Padrevia -- published at DCist today:

Capital Fringe Reviews: Puppet Ballet and Padrevia (DCist, July 12):

Among the sometimes wacky performances of the Capital Fringe Festival are some unexpected offerings of the more mainstream variety, with a twist. An adventurous little company called Opera Alterna, which presented two new operas by local composers at last year's festival, returns with an earnest production of Thomas Pasatieri's 1967 melodrama Padrevia. The company is making the revival of Pasatieri's concise, neo-Romantic operas a specialty, after presenting two of them at the 2008 Fringe Festival. Pasatieri, writing his own libretto, adapted a tragic story from Boccaccio's Decameron, the first novella from Giornata IV, a day on which all the members of the brigata told stories of love that ended badly. Tancred, the Prince of Salerno, loves his only daughter, Gismonda, so much that he keeps her isolated from all other people in his palace. Reaching adulthood, she finds love by arranging to meet with Guiscardo, who tends the palace garden. Needless to say, Tancred catches the lovers in the act, leading to a violent conclusion, a verismo shocker that could pass at times as the fourth act of Puccini's Il Trittico.
There is one other opera in the Fringe Festival this year, the world premiere of Oblivion by Kyle Gulling, but I have not been able to see it yet.

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