to the Oberlin Opera Theater
'04 and Leich '02. Photo by Al Fuchs.
trip" is how the Cleveland Plain Dealer described the
Oberlin Opera Theater's production of The Rake's Progress.
Opera Theater director Jonathon Field transported the story from
its original setting in 18th-century London to the late 20th century.
This scene from the opera, which tells the story of the wasted life
of Tom Rakewell, features Kristen Leich '02 as the seductive Mother
Goose and Edward Geschke '04 as the diabolical Nick Shadow.
director Jonathon Field and his crafty design team have conjured
up a contemporary spin on Stravinsky and librettists W.H. Auden
and Charles Kallman, complete with cocaine, television, and groovy
guys and dolls," wrote music critic Donald Rosenberg of the
works," he continued. "The production ... is an amusing
and smart updating, but only visually. Stravinsky's neo-classic
score is intact, and the cast sings with a rhythmic vitality and
urgency that splendidly convey the work's themes of love and temptation.
In less consistent hands, the concept might not have clicked."
addition to complimenting the cast ("What a ball these singers
have depicting the seedier side of British society"), Rosenberg
said the costuming evoked "the atmosphere of cool, self-indulgent
also applauded the orchestra.
excellence extended to the pit, where Paul Polivnick [music director
of Conservatory orchestras] conducted a buoyant account of Stravinsky's
tricky score. As always in Oberlin, the orchestral playing was remarkable."