The Southern Expat Communique: New York observations of a displaced belle


I am really looking forward to yet another new New York City Opera experience.  NYCO hosts a festival each year called VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab.  It is a weekend of lectures, panel discussions, and 30 or so minutes of 10 operas that are in various stages of development.  They are all composed by both budding and seasoned American artists, and their subject matter is everything from shoe inventory, Inventory, to a man in a dog suit confronted with a family’s animal instincts, Dog Days.  There is a B-movie shout out in the lineup as well: Acquanetta

I’m personally looking forward to Evangeline Revisited by Julian Wachner (libretto by Alexis Nouss).  Many of you know of my great love for the great state of Louisiana.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this epic poem, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, about a woman, Evangeline, who is searching for her lost lover, Gabriel (son of the blacksmith!).  It was heavily and maybe melodramatically used by Huey P. Long (my favorite) in his first campaign for governor, who likened Louisiana to Evangeline, a lady in waiting of sorts.  In the poem, there is: forging of the Atlantic, a lot of wandering, some waiting under a tree, Indians, and, SPOILER ALERT: death, the ugly 18th century kind.  It really is an epic, so I’m informed, because it is written in dactylic hexameter, the format in which Homer wrote. 

Anyhoo, we typically view Evangeline as an ever-devoted, always-hopeful, possibly-dillusional (in my opinion) lover.  Evangeline Revisited explores the jaded woman side of Evangeline in an opera that will be presented tomorrow at 2 p.m. at NYU’s Skirball Center.  I am, in a word (or 2) geeked out.  I’m going to have front row seats for this one, y’all. 

Here is some info on VOX in case you are interested.  I’m pretty sure our 11th annual VOX is going to be the best yet!  Happy weekend, everyone! xo

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