“One doesn’t go to Urban Arias expecting masterpieces. The whole adventure is about sharing in Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wood’s risk-taking in mounting new or almost new operatic works. The shows selected are always smart and (blessedly) short. The production values are always good, as they are here in Shining Brow. There are high-caliber singers, and the instrumentalists and conducting are outstanding.”
This from Susan Galbraith’s review on DC TheatreScene.
But first, here are some questions to puzzle through with each other. Please respond to any of these and add other thoughts you’ve had.
- Why is the theater filled with smoke and soot-marked eyes from the beginning? Do these things relate to the central idea of the opera?
- What do the several lists in the libretti mean and how do they serve the work? (19th-century poets, American trees, Native American tribes)
- Frank Lloyd Wright sings that he holds himself above the rules of ordinary men, so then what are we meant to make of his final aria at the end? What does his last line signify, “So much, so much, so…?”