Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doctor Karaoke #6: Music is the Master of all Medicine

We should stop here to acknowledge that our production of The Doctor in Spite of Himself is being sponsored by the brand-new Ken Olsen Science Center. We'll be performing in the MacDonald Auditorium. It's a wonderful show of interdisciplinary spirit that these scientists are supporting the arts by letting us bring opera to their lecture hall and by sponsoring a theatre department production of A Number, a thought-provoking play about the ethics of cloning - and we're showing our appreciation by offering a show that makes fun of science! Hmm. But it is fun, and Molière's story is a useful reminder that science hasn't always gotten everything right.

In that spirit, we hope the scientists among us won't be too offended by the following musical suggestion:

These words are sung by a chorus of musical healers, brought in by the "doctor" to help cure the mute Lucinde. Here, Gounod intentionally adopts an old-fashioned Baroque style to suggest the 17th century context. Molière's play was almost 200 years old when Gounod and his librettists set it to music - as it happens, Gounod's comic opera is now exactly 150 years old, so all of the music may seem a bit antiquated to modern ears, but this chorus still manages to stand out as appropriately old-fashioned. The grand and stately tune also serves well as the beginning of the Overture; this recording is taken from our 2006 production.

Also, updated at the main production website.

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