[Posted by The Angry Clam]
Even though the Supreme Court upheld Oregon’s assisted suicide law, about which I am concerned due to the number of reports of forced euthanasia of older people in other jurisdictions with such laws (for example, in the Netherlands, many older people refuse to go to the hospital for treatment because they fear for their lives), I’m pleased by the voting pattern.
It was a 6-3 decision. In dissent? Justices Scalia and Thomas as well as Chief Justice Roberts. When he was confirmed, I was quite concerned that Roberts would be (if slightly) to the left of Chief Justice Rehnquist. However, seeing him joining with my main man Nino makes me very, very, pleased.
– The Angry Clam
I saw a condensed version of Wagner’s “Ring” this weekend, performed by the Long Beach Opera. I went with Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger, who is on the LBO board, as well as his lovely wife T.G. and a couple of their friends.
I had planned to do a more extensive review over the weekend but didn’t have time; perhaps tonight. The L.A. Times review is here. Marc’s review is here. (One quibble with Marc’s review: I don’t consider myself a musical purist. But I was impressed.)
My bottom line is that I highly recommend it for any fans of Wagner. Long Beach Opera is a small-budget opera, and this is a small-budget production. But the intimacy of the small theater almost always makes up for the sparse production and smaller orchestra. And the opera is done in an excellent English translation, so it’s pretty easy to follow. The singing was in many places surprisingly strong.
If you are unfamiliar with the condensed version, it does an admirable job of packing the entire cycle into 10 hours (two 2-hour operas with no intermission, and two 3-hour operas with one intermission each). The cuts retain the flow of the story, and you don’t really mind the musical cuts until the last opera, when a couple of well-known orchestral showpieces are cut too short.
The production was amazing for what it was, and many aspects of it (in particular the acting and the intimate setting) were even more enjoyable than big-time productions that I have seen either live or on video. Again, if you’re a Wagner fan and you live in the area, you should definitely go.
Tickets are going to sell out for next weekend, so if you have any desire to see it, get your tickets soon. You can get them here. I’ll see if I can’t put together a better review tonight, if I have time.
UPDATE: Here is a good review. I agree with most of it.