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Lesser-Known ‘Falstaff’

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.358  Thursday, 21 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 21, 2014 at 10:10:23 AM EDT

Subject:    The Lesser-Known ‘Falstaff,’ in 1980s Clothing

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/arts/music/the-lesser-known-falstaff-in-1980s-clothing.html

 

The New York Times

 

Shakespeare’s Preening Con Man, as Seen by Salieri, Then Updated

The Lesser-Known ‘Falstaff,’ in 1980s Clothing

By Vivien Schweitzer

 

Antonio Salieri and his some 40 operas are not usually cited amid the incessant drumbeat of composer anniversaries in New York. But his birthday (Aug. 18) received a rare nod on Tuesday when the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble presented his “Falstaff,” a gem performed as part of the company’s two-week A Summer of Shakespeare festival.

 

Composed in 1799 and one of the first operatic incarnations of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Falstaff” loudly echoes Mozart, although the work lacks both the sublimity and profundity of Mozart’s operas. But while Salieri’s music may be more earthbound, this work reflects his stature as an important composer of late-18th-century opera, a skillfully composed work that charms with its attractive melodies, lovely vocal ensemble numbers and agile orchestration.

 

A slightly different plot unfolds in the libretto (by Carlo Prospero Defranceschi) than in Verdi’s better-known version of the Shakespeare play. The young lovers Fenton and Anne are omitted and a scene added in which Mrs. Ford impersonates a German girl (here an au pair wearing a huge pink hair bow) to tempt Falstaff. Salieri’s opera buffa also lacks the character depth of Verdi’s “Falstaff” and the dark-hued undertones of Mozart’s comedies.

 

The dell’Arte band played well throughout — led by the spirited and polished playing of Audrey Lo (the concertmaster). John Spencer conducted from the keyboard, deftly rendering the recitativo accompaniment.

 

Louisa Proske, who directed this effective production in the black-box space of the East 13th Street Theater, updated the action to the 1980s. As the title character, the potbellied, blue-suit clad Gary Ramsey proved suitably sleazy as he portrayed the lascivious con artist, projecting a preening confidence in his own magnetism. His charisma and robust baritone were marred only by his mushy Italian diction.

 

[ . . . ]

 
 
Bone Study Reveals Richard III Ate Like A King, Drank Like A Fish

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.357  Thursday, 21 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 21, 2014 at 10:07:45 AM EDT

Subject:    Bone Study Reveals Richard III Ate Like A King, Drank Like A Fish

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440314002428

 

Journal of Archaeological Science

 

Multi-isotope analysis demonstrates significant lifestyle changes in King Richard III

 

Angela L. Lamb, Jane E. Evans, Richard Buckley, Jo Appleby

 

Abstract:

The discovery of the mortal remains of King Richard III provide an opportunity to learn more about his lifestyle, including his origins and movements and his dietary history; particularly focussing on the changes that Kingship brought. We analysed bioapatite and collagen from sections of two teeth which formed during Richard's childhood and early adolescence, and from two bones: the femur (which averages long-term conditions), and the rib (which remodels faster and represents the last few years of life). We applied multi element isotope techniques to reconstruct a full life history. The isotopes initially concur with Richard's known origins in Northamptonshire but suggest that he had moved out of eastern England by age seven, and resided further west, possibly the Welsh Marches. In terms of his diet, there is a significant shift in the nitrogen, but not carbon isotope values, towards the end of his life, which we suggest could be explained by an increase in consumption of luxury items such as game birds and freshwater fish. His oxygen isotope values also rise towards the end of his life and as we know he did not relocate during this time, we suggest the changes could be brought about by increased wine consumption. This is the first suggestion of wine affecting the oxygen isotope composition of an individual and thus has wider implications for isotope-based palaeodietary and migration reconstructions.

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/17/richard-iii-bone-study-king_n_5685773.html

 

Huffington Post

 

Bone Study Reveals Richard III Ate Like A King, Drank Like A Fish

 

In his short two-year reign, King Richard III managed to cram in a fair amount of feasting, researchers say in a new report.

 

Known as the “last Plantagenet king,” Richard III assumed the British throne in 1483, only to be killed in battle—the last English king to die this way—two years later. His remains went unaccounted for until 2012, when archaeologists discovered his mangled skeleton underneath a parking lot in central England.

 

A recent bone chemistry analysis, conducted by the British Geological Survey and scientists from the University of Leicester, shows Richard III ate swan, crane, heron and egret, in addition to freshwater fish. The high-status meals were also washed down with copious amounts of wine.

 

The study, published online on Saturday in the Journal of Archaeological Science, analyzed bone samples taken from the king’s teeth, femur, and rib. Each of the three bone structures develops at a different time in life, thus providing scientists a window into shifts in Richard’s diet and environment from childhood until his death at the age of 32.

 

[ . . . ]

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/swan-egret-heron-revealed--the-richard-iii-diet-9673772.html

 

The Independent

 

Swan, egret, heron: Revealed - the Richard III diet

 

His daily diet included crane and egret, washed down with a bottle of wine. The reign of Richard III only lasted two years but the king used that time to indulge a secret passion for the finer things of life, according to new research.

 

The monarch, depicted by William Shakespeare as a Machiavellian villain who murdered his way to the throne, enjoyed a debauched lifestyle of feasting and heavy drinking. His love of fine food and wine shows another side to the king dubbed a “poisonous bunchback’d toad” in Shakespeare’s Richard III.

 

After ascending to the throne in 1483, he embarked upon an orgy of drinking and eating, consuming copious amounts of wine and an array of rich food including exotic meats, freshwater fish such as pike, and birds such as swan and heron.

 

 [ . . . ]

 

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/the-richard-iii-diet-wild-birds-frequent-feasts-and-plenty-of-wine/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=eta1&_r=0

 

The New York Times

 

The Richard III Diet: Wild Birds, Frequent Feasts and Plenty of Wine

 

It is good to be king, even if only for two years. British researchers analyzing the bones of Richard III have found that Shakespeare’s most nefarious royal lived high on the hog after taking the throne, at age 30, in 1483. Even by the lofty standards of the nobility, he dined sumptuously and drank lavishly, judging by chemical traces left in his skeleton and examined, using multi-isotope techniques, by scientists at the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester. Their findings were posted online by the Journal of Archaeological Science.

 

[ . . . ] 

 
 
Recording Julius Caesar

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.356  Thursday, 21 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 19, 2014 at 5:08:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Recording Julius Caesar

 

http://folgertheatre.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/in-the-studio-recording-julius-caesar/

 

In the Studio: Recording Julius Caesar

 

The very talented Robert Richmond (the upcoming Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V, and Henry VIII) returned to Omega Studios last week along with a cast of Folger favorites to record Julius Caesar in advance of the production opening in October. The recording will be available through the Folger Luminary App, as well as on CD through Simon and Schuster audio.

 

Zach Appelman (Henry in Henry V at Folger Theatre) plays Mark Antony in the audio recording. Here is a sneak preview of his performance with pinch hitting by William Vaughan (Sebastian in Twelfth Night) as Caesar’s servant.

 

Julius Caesar Audio Recording Cast 

 

Mark Antony – Zach Appelman

Cassius – Louis Butelli

Brutus – Antony Cochrane

Calphurnia – Julie-Ann Elliott

Casca – Pomme Koch

Trebonius – Cody Nickell

Caesar – Todd Scofield

Portia – Emily Trask

Octavius – William Vaughan

 

[Editor’s Note: I saw Zach Appelman as Henry V, and he was stunning. –Hardy]

 
 
Folger Puts 80,000 Images of Literary Art Online

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.355  Thursday, 21 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 20, 2014 at 10:04:27 PM EDT

Subject:    Folger Puts 80,000 Images of Literary Art Online

 

http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/folgers-shakespeare-library-releases-80000-images-of-literary-art-into-the-public-domain.html

Folger Shakespeare Library Puts 80,000 Images of Literary Art Online, and They’re All Free to Use

      

Has a writer ever inspired as many adaptations and references as William Shakespeare? In the four hundred years since his death, his work has patterned much of the fabric of world literature and seen countless permutations on stage and screen. Less discussed are the visual representations of Shakespeare in fine art and illustration, but they are multitude. In one small sampling, Richard Altick notes in his extensive study Paintings from Books, that “pictures from Shakespeare accounted for about one fifth—some 2,300—of the total number of literary paintings recorded between 1760 and 1900” among British artists.

 

In the period Altick documents, a rapidly rising middle class drove a market for literary artworks, which were, “in effect, extensions of the books themselves: they were detached forms of book illustration, in which were constantly assimilated the literary and artistic tastes of the time.” These works took the form of humorous illustrations—such as the As You Like It-inspired satirical piece at the top from 1824—and much more serious representations, like the undated Currier & Ives Midsummer-Night’s Dream lithograph above. Now, thanks to the Folger Shakespeare Library, these images, and tens of thousands more from their Digital Image Collection, are available online. And they’re free to use under a CC BY-SA Creative Commons license.

 

As Head of Collection Information Services Erin Blake explains, “basically this means you can do whatever you want with Folger digital images as long as you say that they’re from the Folger, and as long a you keep the cycle of sharing going by freely sharing whatever you’re making.” The Folger’s impressive repository has been called “the world’s finest collection of Shakesperean art.” As well as traditional paintings and illustrations, it includes “dozens of costumes and props used in nineteenth-century Shakespeare productions,” such as the embroidered velvet costume above, worn by Edwin Booth as Richard III, circa 1870. You’ll also find photographs and scans of “’extra-illustrated’ books filled with inserted engravings, manuscript letters, and playbills associated with particular actors or productions; and a great variety of souvenirs, comic books, and other ephemera associated with Shakespeare and his works.”

 

In addition to illustrations and memorabilia, the Folger contains “some 200 paintings” and drawings by fine artists like “Henry Fuseli, Benjamin West, George Romney, and Thomas Nast, as well as such Elizabethan artists as George Gower and Nicholas Hilliard.” (The striking print above by Fuseli shows Macbeth’s three witches hovering over their cauldron.) Great and varied as the Folger’s collection of Shakespearean art may be, it represents only a part of their extensive holdings. You’ll also find in the Digital Images Collection images of antique bookbindings, like the 1532 volume of a work by Agrippa von Nettescheim (Heinrich Cornelius), below.

 

The collection’s enormous archive of 19th century prints is an especial treat. Just below, see a print of that tower of 18th century learning, Samuel Johnson, who, in his famous preface to an edition of the Bard’s works declared, “Shakespeare is above all writers.” All in all, the immense digital collection represents, writes The Public Domain Review, “a huge injection of some wonderful material into the open digital commons.” Already, the Folger has begun adding images to Wikimedia Commons for use free and open use in Wikipedia and elsewhere on the web. And should you somehow manage, through some voracious feat of digital consumption, to exhaust this treasure hold of images, you need not fear—they’ll be adding more and more as time goes on. 

 
 
Reed Visiting Appointment

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.354  Thursday, 21 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         August 21, 2014 at 12:21:35 PM EDT

Subject:    Reed Visiting Appointment

 

http://www.reed.edu/dean_of_faculty/facsearch/positions/visiting-appointment-in-theatre.html

Visiting Appointment in Theatre (Directing, Theatre History)

The Reed College Theatre Department invites applications for a one year visiting assistant professor appointment in theatre, to start immediately, with an emphasis in directing and theatre history. Responsibilities will include teaching five courses (Directing I, Theatre History I, Applied Collaboration Techniques, and two electives) as well as advising senior theses.  We are especially interested in scholar/practitioners who are able to teach broadly within the discipline, who are committed to teaching undergraduates in a liberal arts environment, and who will maintain an active scholarly and/or professional practice outside of Reed. Expertise in pre-twentieth century theatre history and/or non-western theatre is of particular interest. A PhD, DFA or equivalent degree is preferred, and successful college level teaching and professional experience required. Advanced graduate students who are ABD will be considered.

 

Reed College is a small, distinguished liberal arts institution committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship. Reed students are known for their outstanding intellectual engagement and creativity. Reed’s new Performing Arts Building, opened in Fall 2013, provides a vital facility for new initiatives in the performing arts and for fostering interdisciplinary opportunities across the college. Information about the department is available at http://academic.reed.edu/theatre/.

 

Electronic applications are required and must be sent as PDF (preferred) or Word attachment.  Please send a cover letter, vita, and 3 letters of recommendation to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Questions may be addressed to Peter Ksander, chair of the search committee, at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Reed College is a community that believes that cultural diversity is essential to the excellence of our academic program. In your application materials, we welcome a description of how, as a scholar, teacher, or community member, you would engage and sustain the commitment to diversity and inclusion articulated in Reed College’s diversity statement (http://www.reed.edu/diversity/).  If letters of recommendation must be sent in hard copy, please submit to Theatre Search, c/o Karin Purdy, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland OR 97202.

 

Deadline is rolling and consideration of applications will begin immediately.

 

An equal opportunity employer, Reed College values diversity and encourages applications from underrepresented groups. Reed College is committed to assisting all members of the Reed community in providing for their own safety and security. Information regarding campus safety, statistics and college policies is available on the Reed website at: http://www.reed.edu/community_safety/information/crime/ASR909.html

 

Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin immediately

 
 
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