Monday, March 14, 2011

Massenet's "Don Quichotte"

The Man of La Mancha and Sancho Panza

Last night I went to see the opera. It was Massenet’s Don Quichotte, presented by Seattle Opera. I confess to have been a little irked at the opening: why so much funding lavished on the opera, when other arts organizations go without? why do I have to sit through yet another big stage production of a party scene? why is this music so worn out and banal...?
And yet, as the evening wore on, and the opera pared itself down to a loving examination of the old knight’s noble, yet misguided intentions, I found myself moved. At the beginning of each act, the scrim in front of action displayed a hand scripted excerpt from Cervantes’ work (in English, of course)...the final quote was (roughly) “it is madness to have too much sanity - to see life as it really is and not as it ought to be.”
The brave old knight reminds me that looking through rose-colored glasses is sometimes the only truth worth pursuing...


  1. Hello, Heather! Just wanted to let you know that I was driving around, half-listening to the radio until your interview on KUOW came on. I almost stopped the car because I wanted to listen more carefully than I was able to while driving. Instead, I determined to seek you out here. So glad I found you!

    As a performer, teacher, director, and writer of music, I had almost forgotten the value of listening to it. Thank you for giving me pause; thank you for introducing me to Osvaldo Golijov; I look forward to future posts, and to time spent listening to--and enjoying--music.

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Mollie! I appreciate it. And I'm glad that you're discovering Golijov's music - I find his work very compelling.