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 Post subject: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2001 4:20 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Image<BR><fontsize=1>Jean-Paul Fouchécourt in "Platee"</fontsize><P>It's back:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Morris' nymph mania<P>Joshua Kosman, SF Chornicle<P>Three years after its uproarious Berkeley premiere, Mark Morris' production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's comic opera "Platee" is back.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/09/30/PK65278.DTL target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2001 7:15 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
A preview:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Morris returns with Rameau's 'Platée'<P>Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times<P>Mark Morris feels right at home in Berkeley, and well he should.<P>Ever since 1991, when the Mark Morris Dance Group returned to New York City after its three-year sojourn as the resident company of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Belgium's national opera house, Morris has been welcomed with open arms by programmers and patrons of UC Berkeley's Cal Performances.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.contracostatimes.com/timeout/perform/stories/x30morris_20010930.htm target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2001 10:27 pm 
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I am eager to read what the critics have to say about "Platee." I enjoyed myself for the most part but also found myself cringing at the slapstick and nodding off near the end of Act II.<P>One of the things I liked was the interaction and interweaving of songs and dances, not something one normally sees in opera.<P>Another thing I liked was that each singer actually looked the part... Those of you who go to the opera know what I mean.<P>Designs were wild and fantastical (Adrianne Lobel designed the set, Isaac Mizrahi the costumes, and James F Ingalls the lighting).<P>What I enjoyed most though was the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited October 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 9:34 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A review from the Chronicle<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>'Platee' makes another splash <BR>Rameau comic opera returns in Morris' delightful staging<P>Joshua Losman, Chronicle Music Critic<P>Everyone's favorite marsh nymph -- the froggy, self-delusional Platee -- is back in Berkeley for a brief sojourn, and Baroque opera has never been so colorful or deliriously funny. <P>Choreographer-director Mark Morris' exuberant staging of Jean-Philippe Rameau's 1745 opera was the hit of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition three years ago, and its revival Wednesday night in Zellerbach Hall proved nearly as exhilarating.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/05/DD224211.DTL&type=performance" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 3:34 pm 
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It's quite a positive review by Joshua Korman. I agree with his comments about the "inferior" singing. I too felt the singers were inconsistent, to my ears.<P>But I only half agree with him about the "series of dances for two swaddled infants and two bearded sages." It seemed too amateurish to me in its campiness.


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 11:13 am 
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Mark Morris Dance Group<BR>Platee<P>Zellerbach Hall<BR>Berkeley, CA<P>October 6, 2001<P>It is not often that a choreographer gets to play in the medium of opera. Thankfully, Mark Morris was given the chance and he has offered up a delightful concoction.<P>Morris more than any other choreographer today, is uniquely able to successfully direct an opera because of his background and experience. First of all, he reads music, which is rare in today’s modern dance choreographer and essential to direct an opera. Second, he has choreographed to opera music before. First working with Peter Sellars and then on his own, choreographing “Dido & Aeneas”. He also seems to be able to effectively work with baroque music. He finds the intent behind the music without being tied too much to the structure. <P>I have seen a lot of opera over the last few years. Never have I seen one so well directed. Often singers look as though they have no idea what to do with their hands. Here Morris gave them hand movements, the same type he gave to his dancers, but they were not overpowered by them. Although they didn’t dance, the singers definitely moved well and their blocking was fresh and interesting and in the same style as the choreography. There was very little prima donna posing and striving to see the conductor. Maybe because Morris does not have an opera background he is not tied to the time worn standard blocking seen year after year on the world’s opera stages. These are also singers who looked the part, meaning of course that they were svelte for opera singers. The dancers were also of good healthy athletic weights. This succeeded in creating the impression that all these performers were of the same world, not the jarringly disturbing juxtaposition of extremely obese singers with extreme skinny dancers that one usually sees in opera.<P>The dances themselves were perfectly suited to the music and the atmosphere he was trying to create. They were also seamlessly integrated with the action. Never did I have that “Hey we’re going to do a dance now” impression. The dancers play many roles ranging from toads to peacocks to nymphs and all the movements were appropriate without being clichéd. And every part they played had a different face to go with it. Mark Morris casts his dancers not only for their ability to dance but also their ability to act. There are quite a few musical interludes in this opera, which I imagine in a standard production could pose a problem. Here it was an asset. That may be one of the reasons Morris chose this particular opera.<P>The costumes were colorful and whimsical and character appropriate. They represented archetypes without resorting to the standard costume clichés. The fashion and theater background that Isaac Mizrahi has is serving him well. He knows what works on stage, but will still push it to the edge. Platee herself was of course the most fantastical. Mr. Fouchecourt was done up in a green body suit with a huge pot belly and pendular breasts that was then covered with a pink and green dress with the queen’s jewel pinned to it. The little glasses she carried around were the perfect mix of prissy and glam. <P>Mr. Fouchecourt himself has got this character down. He really finds the sympathy of the character and the audience actually felt sorry for Platee when she was scorned at the end. All the singers were excellent. Some of them seemed to lack some power, but that could also have been where I was sitting. In the first twenty rows of the orchestra side, they tend to sing right over your head. The orchestra was wonderfully accurate in its interpretation of the music without being dry. The conductor had the entire production held together without being oppressive.<P>Baroque opera can be boring. They were written in the infant days of the form when it was still trying to find its niche and sometimes they are unsuccessfully performed in present day, because there is little action and much structure. This production however is glorious and bawdy and truly connects with a modern day audience. All opera should be this good and this successful. Pamela Rosenberg and Beverly Sills would do well to learn a lesson from Mark Morris and his triumph over this form.<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:09 pm 
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Wow! Excellent post LMC. Let's get you writing for one of our SF papers. :-) <P>Hey, and how about those supertitles? (operated by my very versatile roomate!)<P>Cheers<P>D


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 9:02 pm 
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Yeah, it is a wonderful review, isn't it? LMCtech certainly knows this stuff. All the observations are right on and I actually understand them!


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:01 pm 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Dueling Swamp Things Splash Around the Plaza at Lincoln Center

by ELIZABETH ZIMMER
the Village Voice

The Frogs, Nathan Lane's adaptation of Burt Shevelove's take on Aristophanes' ancient political comedy ..., will soon face formidable competition across Lincoln Center's plaza, where Mark Morris's production of Rameau's Platée
more


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 Post subject: Re: Mark Morris' 'Platee'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:07 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Affairs of the Gods

by DEBORAH JOWITT
the Village Voice

Director and choreographer Mark Morris, abetted by Adrianne Lobel (sets), Isaac Mizrahi (costumes), and a superb cast, knows exactly what to do with Rameau's work. He puts the chorus in the pit, and backs the principal singers with assorted dancing swamp creatures, birds, horny satyrs, and—in the Prologue that sets up the tale—barflies.
more in the second part of the linked article


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