Monday, July 13, 2009

More of L'elisir d'amore and other ponderings

Bellas Artes, Ciudad de México, DF
imágen de Wikipedia

Göran commented in the earlier post:
Song in Italian and subtitles in German and Spanish ;=)

This calls to mind one of my more memorable opera moments.

We had arrived in Mexico City for our first vacation there. (I had seen the DF once before at an Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission council meeting.) We were staying at a hotel just a couple of blocks from the Palacio de Bellas Artes and wandered in to get tickets for the requisite evening of the Baile Folklorico. Once inside we spotted news that La Flauta Mágica was playing that night! Being great fans of Mozart's Magic Flute we bought tickets. Dirt cheap and in the fourth row center of the orchestra.

The staging was on the cheap. The sung music was done in German, which was how we were accustomed to hearing it. But all the spoken dialogue was in Spanish and the acting was excellent. It was a bit of a shock to keep switching between languages and it was a good thing we knew the story. It was a really fun evening.

Here is some more Donizetti for you.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo sings Dr. Dulcamara and Anna Yur’yevna Netrebko sings Adina in this scene from L'elisir d'amore.


The Associate Parishes meeting was in Cuernavaca - thanks to the Rev. Gayland Pool. I was there as we hammered out that year's statement:
Cuernavaca Statement - April 1988

The Council of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, meeting in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on 20-25 April 1988, has begun to experience an Anglican church foreign to most Episcopalians. In Latin America the Anglican churches are developing their own identity. Several of them are moving toward self-determination. This movement stands firmly within Anglican tradition, which includes the right of national churches to develop their own liturgies, pastoral styles, and methods of theological reflection.

We rejoice in the search of the Mexican and other Latin American churches for indigenous models of liturgy and mission.

We urge the Episcopal Church to support authentically Latin American forms of Anglicanism, faithful to the Christian heritage and rooted in their own cultures.

We also encourage all Anglicans to appreciate ethnic diversity in their own churches.

Cuernavaca, Mexico

Inculturation remains an issue as we seek ways to live a universal Gospel in concrete social expressions.

I remember how aghast I was when I got my copy of El Himnario, a joint effort of several denominations. It is Anglo music translated into Spanish. Just. Not. The. Same. If you know what I mean.

There is a rich religious culture in New Mexico with indigenous and Hispanic roots tied to the soil here. We borrow from it in the decoration of our churches and Spanish smatterings occur in some of our liturgies but the Episcopal Church in New Mexico is very much an Anglo church - in a state with 42% Hispanic population. So very little has been done to be the Gospel in a way that is both Anglican (in style, NOT culture) and New Mexican at the same time. ¡Sóspiro!

--the BB


Brian R said...

Reminds me of seeing 'The Barber of Seville' when I was in Vienna in 2000.
Sung of course in Italian with German surtitles. My schoolboy Latin, French and German came in very useful that night.

Paul said...

How marvelous it must have been, Brian!

I've not been to Vienna. Yet.

It seems sad to me to contemplate being condemned to think in only one language if there are opportunities to learn more.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Is Dulcamara a pun on dulce (= mild) and amara (= bitter)´, perchance?

Paul said...

I had not paused to think of it, Göran, but I am sure it is now that you mention it.