Sunday, April 4, 2010

Damned Ladies

I admit that I am doing a bit of backtracking here, but I couldn't get away without posting a couple of photos from the University of Michigan production of Christoph von Gluck's Armide that went up last weekend.  For a more detailed summary of the opera check Wikipedia's page here,  but a brief synopsis provided on the site is as follows:

Set during the First Crusade, this is the love story of the sorceress Armide and the Christian knight Renaud. At war with the Christian Crusaders, Armide ensnares her enemy Renaud with her magic spells, but at the moment she raises her dagger to kill him, she finds herself falling in love with him. She casts a spell to make him fall in love with her in return, but two of his fellow soldiers find their way to Renaud, and break her spell. Renaud is thus able to escape from Armide, who is left in enraged despair.

Or at least that's what I hear happens.  I was in the first two of five acts and don't really know what happens after I leave!  I didn't realize until about a month into rehearsals that I was not playing Armide's father but her uncle :-/ 

Kristin Eder, Warrior Princess
(with Mary Martin and Amy Petrongelli)

... and her sassy servant Mary Martin

Armide's father uncle, Hidraot, doing his best Jewish mother impression:
"The war's over, I'm getting old, settle down and get married already!"

She ain't havin' none of it. 
(Jennie Nash as Armide, with Mary Martin and Nicole Greenidge)

Uh oh! Someone has set all of our captives free!
(Nick Ward as some beaten-up soldier)

You free'd my slaves? I'll just call forth all the demons from Hell.  Check and mate?
I LOVE this picutre because everyone around Jennie is moving and she's just summoning her sould out... or, rather, lost souls out

HA! I've got you
(Kristin Eder and Willis Bote as Renaud)

You know, you're kinda hot... I don't know if I can go through with this
(Jennie Nash and Kyle Knapp as Renaud)

So, that didn't work and I fell in love with you.  I'll see my demons and raise you the personification of Hate!
(Jennie Nash and Kyle Knapp)

Wah-wah.  Smoke and glowing red walls are never a good omen

Renaud's Crusader back-up getting seduced by one of Armide's temptresses.  Or is it temptressi?
(Jesse Enderle and Kate Wakefield)

A leading lady, a knife, and being alone on stage at the end of an opera does not a happy opera make.
Armide-with the dagger-in the palace... Wadsworth had it all wrong!

And finally a couple of pictures from backstage in the dressing rooms... where all the glamor happens!

Mary Martin, Joseph Roberts, Jennie Nash, Nicole Greenidge

This is what happened when we were told to do a "silly" picture.
To college students I guess "sexy" equals "silly"? Although Mary adds a dash of confusion to her sexy.

A little May/December romance perhaps?
What... grey hair is distinguished looking, right?

Finally, thanks to Willis Bote, one of the Renaud's, for providing the pictures from the show! Oh, and also, the title of the post is a reference to a great song by Rufus Wainwright in which he pleads with the leading ladies of opera not to kill themselves, in case you were wondering.  In fact, all of the titles are song names that have something to do with their respective posts.  It's ridiculous, I know, but I'm not that ashamed of it in the least.


  1. I'm so glad you posted this! You look just like Jason with that hair. he! he! ;-)

  2. Joseph - Love your blog! Reminds me of your letters from Italy. Have you ever heard of Keron Jackson. He studied opera at Baylor. He is a baritone.Heard him last night-you need to
    hear him. Are you coming to Dallas or Houston?
    Let me know. Your cousin, Liz, is going to spend two months with me while she works at TSRH. I am adding 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a big den on the house so my Mother and Aunt can
    come to live with me. Loved the picture of you
    in front of the wolverine. How do I get a copy
    of it? Come see me. Aunt Suzie


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