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Frida Kahlo, Angela Gheorghiu, Mozart, Klingon

Frida Kahlo Now what on earth do these all have in common? It was an extremely busy weekend, what can I say.

Though the exhibit, courtesy of the efforts of the Embassy of Mexico, museums, Arlington County and countless others, is not the actual original work (these are reproductions), the show is quite revealing and speaks a great deal about the reach Frida Kahlo and her husband artist Diego Rivera had in their time. Along pictures of Mexican peasants one will find photos of socialites and Soviet Illuminati.

Go see the exhibit, it\’s free: Artisphere in Arlington

Angela Gheorghiu Next on this busy weekend, I took in Angela Gheorghiu at the Kennedy Center with the Washington National Opera Orchestra directed by Eugene Kohn.

The performance started off a bit off note but she and the orchestra soon warmed up and when she stuck to her operatic repertoire she soar. For example, Vive amour from Chérubin and Song of the Moon from Rusalka got the audience wanting more. Certainly she won our hearts with O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi and Ebben? Ne Andro lontano from La Wally–this is Angela at her best. I forgot to mention that she changed her gowns three times during the performance. Then when she had us in the palm of her hand she sang I Could Have Danced all Night and lost some of us. I turned to my partner and said (sorry to be so catty) \”Stick to your own kind.\” But almost sensing the quasi damage she had done she ended with Granada and won the battle.

Mozart This ended Saturday\’s taste for art and music. Then on Sunday, we took in Così fan tutte again at the Kennedy Center, but with Joey Prieto (wonderful), Teddy Tahu Rhodes (great singing), William Shimell (also super) and on the female side we had: Elizabeth Futral, Renata Pokupié and Christine Brandes-all superb. Now many of us were surprised to see Mozart set in Washington, DC with the women from Georgetown and the men from Baltimore at least while in biker costumes, complete with tattoos. Nonetheless the opera works and was sung extremely well, but the plot and evil twist on women in light of Rush Limbaugh\’s attack on the Georgetown students hit us all at the end like a lead balloon–flat. Both my partner and I turned to each other and said, Mozart needed an editor. Too long and the ending needs to be fixed, given the movement of the culture and women\’s rights, but it\’s still good music.

Shakespeare in Klingon II–The Wrath of (Michael) Kahn I have never heard so much Klingon in my life and I never knew that linguist Marc Okrand who developed the Klingon dictionary is on the board of directors at WSC Avant Bard Theatre housed at the Artisphere, though the special event this evening took place in the Spectrum Theatre, with a donor reception the Hotel Palomar.

Sue (Fox 5) and Joe Palka hosted and did a rather funny Klingon weather report but the To Be or Not to Be performance in English and Klingon with Brian Crane, Andrew Miller and Brad Graper was truly a gas. Then came The Wrath of (Michael) Kahn which traced the effect Kahn has had on the Washington theatre and the lives of numerous actors. It was well worth the evening and I don\’t know why I am writing about this now because I have to get to bed to prepare for a conference in Philadelphia but I needed to say my peace.

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