Friday, April 3, 2015

LIST OF WORKS INCLUDED


USTheater, Opera, and Performance

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(alphabetical by playwright)

John Adams and Peter Sellars (USA)

Aeschylus (Ancient Greece)

Ilse Aichinger (Austria)


Eleanor Antin (USA)
"On Credit" (on Before the Revolution) by Douglas Messerli

Julie Archer and Lee Breuer (USA)
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy) by Douglas Messerli

John Arden (England/Ireland)
"Pulling Down the Roof" (on Serjeant Musgrave's Dance) by Douglas Messerli
Robert Ashley (USA)
"An American Original" (on the death of Ashley and a concert in 2015 at Redcat in Los Angeles)

Back to Back Theatre (Australia)
"Playing the Play" (on Ganesh Versus the Third Reich) by Douglas Messerli
Béla Balázs  see Béla Bartok

Joey Arias and Basil Twist (USA)
"This Is It" (on Arias with a Twist and Michael Jackson) by Douglas Messerli

Amiri Baraka (USA)
"Essential Dichotomies" (on Baraka's "The Toilet" and on his life and poetry) by Douglas Messerli 

Djuna Barnes (USA)
"Freeling Family" (on Djuna Barnes' Biography of Julie van Bartmann) by Douglas Messerli
Three from the Earth
"The Days on Jig Cook" (on George Cram Cook and the Provincetown Players)
"Djuna Barnes' Roots," (on the short plays of Djuna Barnes) by Douglas Messerli

"The Songs of Synge"
The Antiphon

J. M. Barrie (b. Scotland/England)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (printed play)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (radio play with the Barrymores)
"Bond of Age" (on Barrie's "Rosalind" and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals") by Douglas Messerli
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy, based on a novel by J. M. Barrie) by Douglas Messerli



Béla Bartok (Hungary)
"Locking Up Being" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
Tina Bausch (Germany)
"You Know What I Mean" (on Bausch's Ten Chi and Richard Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland) by Douglas Messerli

Samuel Beckett (Ireland/France)
"Nell's Death" (on Beckett's Endgame) by Douglas Messerli
"Talking the Tears Away" (on Beckett's Happy Days) by Douglas Messerli
"Be Again" (on Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies) (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (New York Production)
"Living in the Details" (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (Los Angeles Production)
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape by Harold Pinter

Belarus Free Theatre (Belarus)
"Sunday, Bloody, Sunday (2)" (on the company's Being Harold Pinter) by Douglas Messerli

David Belasco (USA)
The Return of Peter Grimm

Hans Bellmer (Germany)
"Notes on the Ball Joint"

Shelley Berc (USA)
A Girl's Guide to the Divine Comedy

Hector Berlioz (France)
"Delusion and Dream" (on Berlioz' Les troyens) by Douglas Messerli

Leonard Bernstein (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on Bernstein's On the Town, Wonderful Town, and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Spiritual Uplift" (on Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti)

Susan Birkenhead (USA)
see Bob Martin

Jens Bjørneboe (Norway)
The Bird Lovers
 "Cataloging Evil" (on Bjørneboe's The Bird Lovers and Semmelweis) by Douglas Messerli


Lily Blau (USA)
"Differential Equations" (on Blau's The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll) by Douglas Messerli

Jerry Bock (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli 
"Writing Tenderly" (on Jerry Bock's, Sheldon Harnick's and Joe Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Maxwell Bodenheim and Ben Hecht (USA)
The Master Poisoner

Tom Bosley (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli

Jane Bowles (USA)
"A Necessary Remedy" (on Bowles' In the Summer House) by Douglas Messerli

Bertolt Brecht (Germany)
"Moon of Alabama" from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Selected Audio Works

Stephan Brecht (b. Germany/USA)
"Stage and Street" (on the theater writings of Brecht) by Douglas Messerli

Lee Breuer (USA)
Porto Morco
"Barnyard Philosophers" (on Breuer's Summa Dramatica and Porco Morto) by Douglas Messerli 


Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell (USA)
"You Great Big Beautiful Doll" (on Mabou Mines Dollhouse) by Douglas Messerli
Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe (USA)
"Everybody Leaves" (on Brickman's, Elice's, Gaudio's, and Crewe's Jersey Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Benjamin Britten (England)
"Celebrating Liberation" (on Eric Crozier's and Britten's Albert Herring) by Douglas Messerli
"The Darkness Understands and Suffer" (on E. M. Forster, Eric Crozier, and Britton's Billy Budd) by Douglas Messerli
"The Piper's Son" (on Myfanwy Piper's and Britten's The Turn of the Screw) by Douglas Messerli

Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert, and Frank Loesser (USA)
"The Company Way" (on How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) by Douglas Messerli

Jez Butterworth (England)
"Sunday, Blood Sunday" (on Butterworth's Jerusalem) by Douglas Messerli

John Cage (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Karel Čapek (Czechoslavakia/now Czech Republic)
R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Al Carmines (based on Gertrude Stein) (USA)
In Circles
Promenade (with Maria Irene Fornes)

Aimé Césaire (Martinique)
"Trying to Be Everything" (on Césaire's Une Saison Au Congo) by Douglas Messerli

Anton Chekhov (Russia)
"The Dogs Howl" (on Chekhov's The Seagull) by Douglas Messerli
Moose Charlap (music) (with Irene Mecchi (teleplay, based on the play by J. M. Barrie), Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green (lyrics, with additional lyrics by Amanda Green) and Jule Styne (music) (USA)
"Walkin' the Plank (on Peter Pan Live! [TV production, 2014]) by Douglas Messrli

Marissa Chibas (with Erik Ehn and Travis Preston) (USA)
Listening (on Chibas', Ehns', and Preston's Brewsie and Willie) by Douglas Messerli

Julia Cho (USA)
"Dead Languagaes" (on Cho's The Language Archive) by Douglas Messerli

Jean Cocteau (France)
Complete recordings of theater, performances and other works (link with UBUWeb)
Barbara Cook (USA)
"Getting to Know Her" (on Cook singing at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre) by Douglas Messerli

George Cram Cook (USA)
"The Days of Jig Cook" (on Cook and the Provincetown Players) by Djuna Barnes

George Cram Cook and Susan Glaspell (USA)
Suppressed Desires
"Celebration of Suppression" (on Cook's and Glaspell's Suppressed Desires) by Douglas Messerli

Noël Coward (England)
"Breaking Away" (on Coward's Blithe Spirit) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Crosier (England) see Benjamin Britten
Bob Crewe see Marshall Brickman

Tim Crouch (England)
"The Miracle of Art" (on Crouch's An Oak Tree) by Douglas Messerli
Stan Daniels (USA) see Joseph Stein

Shelagh Delaney (England)
"Thieves of Love" (on Delaney's A Taste of Honey) by Douglas Messerli

Gaetano Donizetti (Italy)
"Battling Divas" (on Giuseppe Bardari's and Gaetano Donizetti's Maria Stuarda) by Douglas Messerli
Elevator Repair Service (USA)
"Problems with the Text" (on Elevator Repair Services' Arguendo) by Douglas Messerli

Rick Elice (USA)
"Wasted on Youth" (on Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher) by Douglas Messerli
see also Marshall Brickman
Everly Brothers (USA)
"Bye Bye Love" (on the Everly Brothers and Phil Everly's death) by Douglas Messerli

Cy Feuer (USA)
"The Brotherhood" (on Cy Feuer and his death) by Douglas Messerli

William Finn and James Lapine (USA)
"Something Bad Is Happening" (on Finn's and Lapine's Falsettos) by Douglas Messerli
Ronald Firbank (England)
"The Princess Zoubaroff"

Richard Foreman (USA)
Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland
"The Unfortunate Truth of My Situtation" (on Foremlan's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes) by Douglas
Messerli 
"You Know What I Mean" (on Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland and Tina Bausch's
Ten Chi) by Douglas Messerli

Maria Irene Fornes (b. Cuba/USA)
"The Power of Desperation" (on The Conduct of Life) by Douglas Messerli
"A Very Long Walk" (on Promenade) by Douglas Messerli
"Rain of Summons" (on Fefu on and Her Friends) by Douglas Messerli

Scott Frankel (USA) see Doug Wright

Max Frisch (Switzerland)
"The Conflagration" (on Frisch's The Arsonists) by Douglas Messerli

George Furth (USA) see Stephen Sondheim

Armand Gatti (Monaco/France)
Two Plays: The 7 Possibilities from Train 713 Departing from Auschwitz and
Public Song Before Two Electric Chairs


Susan Glaspell (USA)
Trifles
see also George Cook Cram

Betty Garrett (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Garrett and Eliane Stritch) by Douglas Messerli
Bob Gaudio see Marshall Brickman

Jack Gelber (USA)
"Eye to Eye" (on Gelber's Square in the Eye and Arnold Weinstein's Red Eye of Love) by Douglas Messerli

Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Christopher Knowles (USA)
"This One Is Being Very America" (on Glass, Wilson, and Child's Einstein on the Beach) by Douglas Messerli

James Goldman (USA)
"Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli

Allen Graubard (USA)
"Comment on Gellu Naum's The Taus Watch Repair Shop"

Alice Goodman, Peter Sellars, and John Adams (USA)
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodman's, Sellars', and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli

David Greenspan (USA)
Son of an Engineer

John Guare (USA)
"On Red Eye of Love"

Dan Guerrero (USA)
"Mariachi to Merman" (on ¡Gaytino! ) by Douglas Messerli

George Frideric Handel (England)
"Tears and Hope" (on Giulio Cesare) by Douglas Messerli

Lorraine Hansbery (USA)
"Survivors" (on A Raisin in the Sun) by Douglas Messerli

Sheldon Harnick (USA)
"Writing Tenderly" (on Harnick's, Bock's and Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

John Hawkes (USA)
"The Empty Pool" (on Hawkes' The Innocent Party) by Douglas Messerli


Jake Heggie (USA)
"The Face of God" (On Heggie's and Terrence MacNally's Dead Man Walking) by Douglas Messerli

Matthew S. Hinton (USA)
Drake Disappears
Billie Holliday (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Billie Holliday (1952) [link]

Henrik Ibsen (Norway)
"The Man Who Stands Alone" (on Ibsen's An Enemy of the People) by Douglas Messerli
When We Dead Awaken
"When We Dead Awaken" (on Ibsen's play) by C. H. A. Bjerregaard
Hedda Gabler 
"Burned Up" (on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler) by Douglas Messerli
"Ibsen's New Drama" by James Joyce

Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (Italy) see Giacomo Puccini

Eugène Ionesco (Romania/France)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on Ionesco's Exit the King, Waiting for Godot and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Growing Horns" (on Ionesco's Rhinoceros) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Jackson (USA)
"This Is It" (on Jackson's filmed rehearsals and Joey Arias and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist) by Douglas Messerli

Henry James (USA)
Summersolft

Alfred Jarry (France)
Early chansons, lectures about Jarry, and a film version of Ubu Roi (link to Ubuweb)
Ubu Roi (film version by Jean-Christophe Averty)

Len Jenkin (USA)
"Heart of Darkness" (on Jenkin's Dark Ride) by Douglas Messerli
Dream Express (link with Jenkin's site)

Rajiv Joseph (USA)
"Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright" (on Joseph's Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo) by Douglas Messerli

James Joyce (Ireland)
"Ibsen's New Drama"

Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (England)
"Loud and Quiet" (on Kelly's and Minchin's Matilda) by Douglas Messerli

Robert Kelly (USA)
"Monologues for Orpheus: A Dance Play"

Adrienne Kennedy (USA)
"Herselves: A Chamber Piece" (on Kennedy's Funnyhhouse of a Negro) by Douglas Messerli

Oscar Kokoschka (Austria)
Murderer the Women's Hope

Bernard-Marie Koltès (France)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Korie (USA) see Doug Wright

Alfred Kreymborg (USA)
Jack's House (A Cubic-Play)
Lima Beans
"Food for Love" (on Kreymborg's Lima Beans) by Douglas Messerli


Tony Kushner (USA)
"Crashing Through the Ceiling of Despair" (on Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches) by Douglas Messerli

Tom La Farge (USA)
Talking While Shaving

Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek (USA)
"No One's Home" (on Lane's and Yazbek's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) by Douglas Messerli
James Lapine (USA)
"Out of the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli

Miklos Laszlo (Hungary/USA)
"Working Against Love" (on Laszlo's Parfumerie) by Douglas Messerli 

Arthur Laurents (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on West Side Story and two other Bernstein musicals) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on West Side Story and plays by Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco) by Douglas Messerli
"The Coward's Hand" (on Laurents' Home of the Brave) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (USA)
"The Gang's Still Here" (on Lawrence's and Lee's The Gang's All Here) by Douglas Messerli
"My Broadway Hit" (on a celebration for Jerome Lawrence) by Douglas Messerli


Stacey Levine (USA)
"The Good House" (in Levine's Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small) by Douglas Messerli
Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small: A Ten Minute Play

Kirk Lynn (USA)
"Approaching the Real" (on Lynn's The Method Gun) by Douglas Messerli

Tracy Letts (USA)
"Muddy Boots" (on Letts' August: Osage County) by Douglas Messerli

Joshua Logan (USA) see Oscar Hammerstein II

Terrence MacNally (USA) see Jake Heggie

Maurice Maeterlinck (Belgium)
The Intruder

Claudio Magris (Italy)
To Have Been
Voices: Three Plays

F. T. Marinetti (and others) (Italy)
"The Futurist Synthetic Theater"

Bob Martin (USA)
"Warm Up" (on Martin's, Charles Strouse's, and Susan Birkenhead's Minsky's) by Douglas Messerli
Jules Massenet (France)
"Between Duty and the Devil" (on Massenet's Werther) by Douglas Messerli

Joe Masteroff (USA)
'Writing Tenderly" (on Masteroff's, Harnick's and Bock's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Vladimir Mayakovsky (Russia)
Vladimir Mayakovsky: Tragedy in Two Acts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
The Bathtub (adapted by Paul Schmidt)

Arthur Miller (USA)
"Whatever Happend to Willy Loman?" (on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman) by Douglas Messerli

Tim Miller (USA)
"Tokyo Tim"

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Germany)
Douglas Messerli Bad Day on the Seville Streets (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts's Don Giovanni)
Douglas Messerli Terrifying Twists (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro)
Douglas Messerli Emblems of Love (on Emanuel Schikaneder's and Mozart's The Magic Flute)

Gellu Naum (Romania)
The Taus Watch Repair Shop
Jacques Offenbach (Germany/France) (with Jules Barbier and Michael Carre. based on E.T.A.Hoffmann)
"Love and Tears" (on Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann) by Douglas Messerli

 John O'Keefe (USA)
Reapers
"What Have We Reaped?" (on O'Keefe's Reapers)


Eugene O'Neill (USA)
The Hairy Ape
"In Control" (on O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night) by Douglas Messerli
"The Endless Voyage" (on O'Neill's Glencairn Plays) by Douglas Messerli
The Moon of the Caribees

The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (USA)
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Luigi Rusolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli
Joe Orton (England)
"Identity in Dashes" (on Orton's What the Butler Saw) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Overmyer (USA)
"The Fire Within" (on Overmyer's Dark Rapture) by Douglas Messerli
"Past Present Future Tense" (on Overymer's On the Verge) by Douglas Messerli

Kier Peters (Douglas Messerli) (USA)
A Dog Tries to Kiss the Sky
The Rumble
The Confirmation
"Confirming Reality" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
"Kier's Secret German Audience" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
The Wonder

Francesco Mari Piave (Italy) see Giuseppe Verdi

Harold Pinter (England)
"The Homecoming Gift" (on Pinter's The Homecoming) by Douglas Messerli
"Talk" (on Pinter's The Collection) by Douglas Messerli
"The Wasps" (on Pinter's A Slight Ache) by Douglas Messerli

"Service" (on Pinter's The Dumb Waiter) by Douglas Messerli
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape

Cole Porter (USA) [with P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse, Timothy Crouse and John Weidman
"Pure Poetry" (on Porter's Anything Goes) by Douglas Messerli

Francis Poulenc (France)
"Fanatical Martyrs" (on Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites) by Douglas Messerli

Giacomo Puccini (music), Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (libretto, based on a  play by Belasco from a story by John Luther Long)
"The Blindfold" (on Madama Butterfly, MET production) by Douglas Messerli
"Fin de siecle" (on Madama Butterfly, LAOpera production) by Douglas Messerli
Henry Purcell (England)
"Hello, I Must Be Going" (on Purcell and Nahum Tate's Dido and Aeneas) by Douglas Messerli

Peter Quilter (England)
"An Incautious Overdose of Life" (on Quilter's End of the Rainbow) by Douglas Messerli

Nina Raines (England)
"Moonlight" (on Raines' Tribes) by Douglas Messerli

Maurice Ravel (composer) and Colette (libretto)
"Bad Manners" (on Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Sorceries) by Douglas Messerli

Elmer Rice (USA)
The Adding Machine
"More Than Zero?" (on the musical version of Rice's The Adding Machine) by Douglas Messerli


Jack Richardson (USA)
"Locked Up" (on Richardson's Gallows Humor) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (USA)
"Confused by Paradise" (on Rodgers' and Hammerstein's South Pacific) by Douglas Messerli
Gioachino Rossini (Italy)
"Hidden in Plain Sight" (on Rossini's La donna del lago) by Douglas Messerli

Lugi Russolo (Italy)
The Art of Noises
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Lugi Russolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli 

Aram Saroyan (USA)
Gertrude and Lew: A Double Bill

Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany)
"Telling the Story As It Is Being Told" (on Schimmelpfennig's The Arabian Night and Woman from the Past)

Arthur Schnitzler (Austria)
Hands Around or La Ronde
"An Endless Dance" (on Schnitzler's La Ronde) by Douglas Messerli

Peter Sellars and John Adams (USA)
"A Body Transfixed by the Noonday Sun" (on Sellars' and Adams' The Gosepl According to the Other Mary) by Douglas Messerli
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodmans', Sellars' and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli
William Shakespeare (England)
"Even the Fool Is Hung" (on Shakespeare's King Lear) by Douglas Messerli

George Bernard Shaw (England)
Heartbreak House
"Keeping the Homefires Burning" (on Shaw's Heartbreak House) by Douglas Messerli

Wallace Shawn (USA)
"Even the Thought" (on Shawn's A Thought in Three Parts) by Douglas Messerli

Dmitri Shostakovich (USSR)
"Shrill Charm" (on Shostakovich's Nos (The Nose) by Douglas Messerli

Stephen Sondheim (USA)
"Convincing the Soloist to Join the Band" (on Furth's and Sondheim's Company) by Douglas Messerli
"Into the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragic-Comedies" (on West Side Story, Waiting for Godot and Exit the King) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' and Sondheim's Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli
 "Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli

Sam Shepard (USA)
"Unburying the Dead" (on Shepard's Buried Child) by Douglas Messerli

James Strah (USA)
"Shadowing the Shadows" (on Strah's and the Wooster Group's North Atlantic) by Douglas Messerli

Gertrude Stein (USA)
Brewsie and Willie (see Marissa Chibis)
Do Let Us Go Away
a short documentary with original photographs of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts
In Circles (music by Al Carmines)
a recording from the Santa Fe Opera of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's opera The Mother of Us All
(UBUweb link)
What Happened: A Five Act Play
Mexico

Joseph Stein (USA)
"Moving on Down" (on Stein and Stan Rice's Enter Laughing) by Douglas Messerli
"On the Side of the Angels" (on Stein, Jerry Bock, and Tom Bosley and their deaths) by Douglas Messerli

John Steppling (USA)
Sea of Cortez
"The Verge of Possibility" (on Steppling's Sea of Cortez) by Douglas Messerli


Richard Strauss (Germany)
"A Dance of Death" (on Strauss' Salome)

August Strindberg (Sweden)
Creditors
"Adam and Snake" (on Stridberg's Creditors) by Douglas Messerli 
Miss Julie
"The Crazy Lady" (on Strindberg's Miss Julie) by Douglas Messerli 
"Strindberg As Absurdist" (on Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata) by Douglas Messerli 

Elaine Stritch (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Stritch and Betty Garrett) by Douglas Messerli

Charles Strouse (USA) see Bob Martin

Jule Styne (USA) see Arthur Laurents or Stephen Sondheim
Jule Styne (USA) see Moose Charlap and others

John Millington Synge (Ireland)
Riders to the Sea
"The Songs of Synge" (on Synge's plays) by Djuna Barnes

Bill Talen and Savitri D (USA)
"Tigers Got to Hunt" (on Talen's and Savitri D's Reverend Bill and the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir: The Earth-a-Llujah Earth-a-Llujah Revival!) by Douglas Messerli

Booth Tarkington (USA)
Clarence
Nahum Tate  see Henry Purcell

Ronald Tavel (USA)
Andy Warhol's Horse
Lives and Loves of Hedy Lamar
Modest Tchaikovsky (see Peter Tchaikovsky)
Peter Tchaikovsky
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Tchaikovsky's Iolanta) by Douglas Messerli

Fiona Templeton (b. Scotland/USA)
"The Poet's Theater of Fiona Templeton: An Enviornmental View" (on Templeton's You, the City) by James Sherry 

David Thompson, John Kander and Fred Ebb (USA)
"On the Cusp" (on Thompson's, Kander, and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Virgil Thomson (USA) see Gertrude Stein

Aristides Vargas (Argentina)
"The Traveling Table" (on Vargas' La Razón Blindada (Armored Reason) by Douglas Messerli

Giuseppe Verdi (Italy)
"Buried Alive" (on AntonioGhislanzoni's and Giuseppe Verdi's Aida) by Douglas Messerli
"Hold My Hand" (on Joseph Méry's, Camille du Locle's and Verdi's Don Carlo)  by Douglas Meserli
"Count Down" (on Piave's and Verdi's La Traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas' La Dame aux Camelias) by Douglas Messerli
"Everybody's Fooled) (on Bioto's and Verdi's  Falstaff, based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor and King Henry IV) by Douglas Messerli

Gore Vidal (USA)
"The Compromise" (on Vidal's The Best Man) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Wagner (Germany)
"The Devil Meets His Angel" (on Wagner's The Flying Dutchman) by Douglas Messerli
"The Sacred and the Profane" (on Wagner's Parsifal) by Douglas Messerli
"Casting Out the Self" (on Wagner's Die Walküre) by Douglas Messerli

Enda Walsh (England)
"Keeping to the Script" (on Walsh's The Walworth Farce) by Douglas Messerli
"Pool of Survivors" (on Walsh's Penelope) by Douglas Messerli
Ethel Waters (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Ethel Waters (1933) [link]
Kurt Weill (Germany/USA)
Recording of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) Berlin, 1930 [link]

Arnold Weinstein (USA)
Red Eye of Love
"Eye to Eye" (on Weinstein's Red Eye of Love and Jack Gelber's Square in the Eye) by Douglas Messerli

Mac Wellman (USA)
Bad Penny
The Hidden Part of the US Constitution
The Offending Gesture
"Apropos of The Offending Gesture"
"Tails/Tales" (on Wellman's Bad Penny) by Douglas Messerli
"What American Abandons Abandons America" (on Wellman's Two September) by Douglas
Messerli
"Harm's Other Way: Some Notes on Mac Wellman's Theater" by Marjorie Perloff
"A Linguistic Fantasia" (on Wellman's A Murder of Crows) by Douglas Messerli
"Music from Another World" (on Wellman's The Hyacinth Macaw) by Douglas Messerli
"You Can't Go Home Again" (on Wellman's Second-Hand Smoke) by Douglas Messerli
"There Are No Such Things as Crows" (on Wellman's The Lesser Magoo) by Douglas Messerli
"Mac Wellman" (interview) by Linda Yablonsky [link]

Oscar Wilde (Ireland)
The Importance of Being Earnest
"Nothing But the Truth" (on Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest) by Douglas Messerli

Thornton Wilder (USA)
"Archetypal America" (on Thornton Wilder's Our Town) by Douglas Messerli

Tennessee Williams (USA)
"Dependent Independents" (on Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire) by Douglas Messerli
"Rise and Shine" (on Williams' The Glass Menagerie) by Douglas Messerli
"Bow Down and Be Dim" (on Williams' Vieux Carre) by Douglas Messerli
"End of the Road" (on Williams' Camino Real) by Douglas Messerli
"Medea's Last Dance" (on Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere) by Douglas Messerli
"The Making of Blanche DuBois (on Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) by Douglas
Messerli

Robert Wilson (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Ermano Wolf-Ferrari (composter) and Enrico Goslisciani (libretto) (Italy)
"Bad Manners" (on Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di susanna (Susanna's Secret) by Douglas Messerli

The Wooster Group (USA)

Elizabeth Wray (USA)

Doug Wright (USA)
"Winter in a Summer Town" (on Wright's, Scott Frankel's and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens) by Douglas Messerli 

Grzegorz Wróblewski (Poland/Denmark)
Turning Point
Miwa Yanagi (Japan)
"Can You Hear My Voice?" (on Miwa Yanagi's Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose's Last Tape) by Douglas Messerli

William Butler Yeats (Ireland)
Love and Death (manuscript version)

Stefan Zeromski Theatre (Poland)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli








Douglas Messerli | "An American Original" (on the death of Robert Ashley and a performance of his work in 2015)


an american original
by Douglas Messerli

The Southland Ensemble The Southland Ensemble Plays Early Robert Ashley / Los Angeles, Redcat (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) at the Disney Center, April 1, 2015

The 2014 My Year volume, subtitled “conversations with nature,” was originally perceived as a forum to focus on some of the issues of global warming and to more closely observe the natural world around us (including the nature of the human mind and heart). But it is gradually turning into a kind of necrology—a momento mori, if nothing else, perhaps appropriate given what mankind is doing to the earth. 
     Today I heard of the death of yet another acquaintance, the noted American composer Robert Ashley who passed away on March 3rd. The cause of death, at age 83, was cirrhosis of the liver.

      



















 I did not know the man or his music well. I had listened to his “Automatic Writing” of 1979, in which he used a backdrop of electronic sounds upon which he projected his involuntary speech—some of it incomprehensible—caused by a mild form of Tourette’s Syndrome, from which he suffered. And I listened to parts of his TV opera Perfect Lives (1977-80), where again he used a background of electronic drones, this time along with Indian tabia drums over which a voice recited a kind of Raymond Chandleresque story-like chatter.

     In April 2015 I had the opportunity to hear several of his early compositions, performed by the Southland Ensemble, at Redcat Theater at the Disney Center.
     I attended only the first part of the concert, feeling ill by the intermission (presumably unrelated to the music, and perhaps more related to the rich dinner and wine I had consumed previously). For I did experience some rather powerful works, including The Entrance (1965), performed via video by an electronic pianist in which the subtle variations of sound depended upon the gradual transposition of small circular-like metallic objects, moved into different chordal positions which slowly transformed the long musical phrases, that, as the composer himself expressed it, helped to move “something…to get into another, different frame of mind,” which led as a seeming introduction into the following pieces.
     In She Was a Visitor a singer repeated, again and again, the words “She Was a Visitor” against chordal patterns that literally kept shifting the relationship of the speaker-singer to the musical structures. A program insert suggested that the audience should “choose a sound that you hear, and vocalize that sound quietly for the length of one breath,” repeating hard sounds such as “T,” spoken, but repeated continuously. Unfortunately, I did not observe or hear any audience participation, but the effect the emphatic plaint of the obviously “visiting” participant had a truly haunting effect.
     The long patterns of feedback, performed as a sort of cry from the cavity of the performer’s mouth, created a shifting resonance that literally echoed within the ears, creating precisely The Wolfman (1964) kind of cries one might imagine from the humanized beast.
     In memorial….Esteban Gomez (1963) might have suggested what the composer has described as his “reading of European musical history and social history,” including a kind of abbreviated symphony with a bassoonist, violinist, saxophone player, flutist, cellist, and other individual instrumentalists. The long repetitions of each instrumental introduction once again gradually shifted, over time, with slight gradations in tone and echolalia-like imitation, moving over the course of the piece to create a kind of sonic overlaying of voices that often challenged the ear yet resolved in aural satisfaction, without utterly sweetening the tonal disjunctions.
     I wish I’d been able to experience some of his several notable operas, which included In Memorium…Kit Carson (1963), The Morning Thing (1967), Atalanta (Acts of God) (1982-1991), the Now Eleanor’s Idea tetralogy of 1985-1994, Balseros (1997), Your Money My Life Goodbye (1998), Dust (1998), Celestial excursions (2003), and Concrete (2006). He had also just completed a piece titled Mixed Blessing, Indiana before his death. I do plan to visit several sites this week to hear more of his fascinating music. I look forward to these in the future.
     With Gordon Mumma, Ashley also co-founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in 1958.
     I met the man once, and we had a short conversation, when he won the John Cage Award for Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in 2002, the same year I won the Foundation’s award for poetry.

Los Angeles, March 5, 2014, April 3, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Douglas Messerli | "Hidden in Plain Sight" (on Rossini's La donna del lago)


hidden in plain sight
by Douglas Messerli

Andrea Leone Tottola (libretto, based on the poem by Sir Walter Scott), Gioachino Rossini (music) La donna del lago / New York, The Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast, March 14, 2015



Poor Elena (Joyce DiDonato), the lovely lady who lives on the banks of a Scottish loch. Hardly has the sun risen and she has three men in love with her, Rodrigo Di Dhu (John Osborn), the leader of Highland Clan rebelling against the King, Malcolm Groeme (Daniella Barcellona), the warrior with whom she is deeply in love, and a lost hunter Uberto (Juan Diego Flórez), who, unbeknownst to her, is Giacomo V, the King to whom her father is opposed. It’s little wonder that all the local women flutter about her small cottage since all the important men in the territory are drawn to its denizen? 
     The central problem of Act I is that Elena’s father has promised her to Rodrigo as symbol of his commitment to the revolution, while his daughter has eyes only for Malcolm, who, at least in this Metropolitan Opera version, is played by another mezzo-soprano (as host Patricia Racette joked in her introduction, “In this opera mezzo-soprano gets mezzo-soprano”). Elena, accordingly must negotiate a treaty between her heart and her filial duty, a peace that will end the internal war she is suffering. Ironically her dilemma is temporarily solved with the outbreak of general hostilities. Thus the inner struggle becomes a social one which even she cannot resist in supporting, singing along with the Clan rebels “Già un raggio forier.”

      Act II—particularly with its beautiful solo sung by still-wandering Uberto (“Oh fiamma soave”) and the even more powerful duet which follows, in which she pleads for what opera seldom offers its heroines, a deep friendship that respects her love for another man—finds her once again internally conflicted.  If there were ever evidence of true love, Giacomo (still pretending to be Uberto, but admitting his allegiance to the King) symbolically marries her by offering her a ring that he promises, if she or her family find themselves in danger, will protect her. Particularly in this production, this event provides at least some element of credence, given the fact that, outside of the “lie” of the opera, Elena claims to prefer marrying her own sex as opposed to Flórez, one of the most handsome of operatic singers. 
     The King may have promised to protect her, but he clearly must punish the man to whom she is engaged, Rodrigo, for his treason. In killing him, however, Giacomo saves Elena for Malcolm, who along with her father, now sits in his prison.
      If the scenario has appeared to be quite unbelievable up to this point, it now turns in to pure fairy tale, as  the pomp and circumstance of the court is revealed (this Scottish court, evidently, wore costumes that might have seemed more at home in Renaissance Italy). In the midst of the glitter of the court pageantry, Elena cannot even find the King, who stands beside her in his royal trappings as her friend Uberto. Dramatically, his real identity is revealed before her very eyes as he is crowned and she returns the ring, freeing her father, lover and herself in the same moment to become loving subjects of the King who has spared their lives and permitted them their true destinies.

     If one had any qualms about the story, no one with a good set of ears might find the work lacking in its musical gifts. Here it is spectacularly evident that even the most far-fetched and hackneyed of plots can be redeemed by the perfection of singers DiDonato, Flórez, Osborn, and Barcellona, to say nothing of Oren Gradus as Duglas and Olga Makarina as Albina. Perhaps the Met had never before performed this highly Romantic work until now because no such brilliant casting had previously been available. If the opera once might have seemed forgettable (and, fortunately, under the conducting skills of Michele Mariotti, it is not) the singing took this work into the stratosphere, with the final choruses ringing in the ears long after the curtain falls. The Met audience stayed long and cheered wildly for the four leads of this Rossini oddity, which will now surely be among the standard repertoire for years to come.

Los Angeles, April 16, 2015
Reprinted from USTheater, Opera, and Performance (April 2015).