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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Colorblindness
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1367  Tuesday, 5 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 04 Jun 2001 12:03:33 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant

[2]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 00:20:19 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant

[3]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Jun 2001 21:02:05 -0400
        Subj:   Colorblindness in Opera


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 04 Jun 2001 12:03:33 -0700
Subject: 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant

Karen,

I don't know the answers to your questions.  To the extent that having a
copy of the program may help, on a couple of occasions I have been able
to purchase programs from the RNT for shows that have closed.  I just
asked the man at the bookstall when things were quiet enough for him to
run to the back room and grab one.  Not recommended near show times, and
I have not done this in a few years, so I can't promise this will still
work.

Best of luck getting the information,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 00:20:19 -0400
Subject: 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1349 Re: Colorblindness & Nunn's Merchant

>I just finished watching the "television adaptation" of Trevor Nunn's NT
>*Merchant of Venice", and had a couple of questions, related in part to
>the "colorblind" discussion,

>I was intrigued and impressed by how the Prince of Morocco, and Portia's
>reaction to him, were handled in this production.  Chu Omambala, as
>Morocco, comes across as charismatic, regal, arrogant, and unabashedly
>sexy.  And, at least in my perception, it seemed to me that Derbhle
>Crotty's Portia was shown to be responding to his sexual magnetism,
>expressing in equal parts attraction to Morocco, fear of Morocco, and
>fear of her own attraction to Morocco.

This is the way Tod Randolph and Dan MacCleary played the scene in Tina
Packer's 1999 MOV at Shakespeare&Co.  in Lenox, MA.   The "complexion"
line got a gasp and a laugh -- we liked Portia, but we didn't approve of
her racism.  However, Cleary's Morocco, though sexually magnetic, was
too much of a "conquerer" and too romantic to make a comfortable husband
for any spirited woman -- let alone one as intelligent and willful as
Randolph's Portia.  If "complexion" indicated temperament, then it's
good this Morocco doesn't marry Portia, but a terrible waste if he
doesn't marry someone -- or some 2 or 3 or half dozen!

>I could hardly wait to see how
>she delivered the notorious line at II.vii.79: "Let all of his
>complexion choose me so."

Geralyn Horton, Newton, Mass. 02460
<http://www.stagepage.org>

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Jun 2001 21:02:05 -0400
Subject:        Colorblindness in Opera

Does anyone know if race is a topic of opera criticism?  No one seems to
mind white tenors playing Verdi's Otello in blackface, whereas it now
seems pretty much unthinkable for a white actor to play the role on film
or television (but not necessarily in the theater).  And audiences and
critics accept black sopranos and mezzosopranos playing white roles
without any question. Race apparently does not signify across media the
same way.

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