Saturday, May 9, 2015

Wes Mason's tour de force in Texas

Wes Mason as Hamlet (photos by Ellen Apple Photography)
Barihunk Wes Mason had quite a run at the Fort Worth Opera Festival where he took on two challenging role. On Sunday, May 10th he'll close as Hamlet in Ambroise Thomas' opera. The role is one of the most challenging in the French repertory for a baritone. In director Thaddeus Strassberger’s staging, the action takes place in a pre-WWII Eastern European dictatorship. We have some new photos from Ellen Appel Photography that we wanted to share from the production, which we didn't have for our original post.

Wes Mason sings Clint Borzoni's "Two Nooses" from "When Adonis Calls":

As if Hamlet wasn't enough to sing, on Friday, May 8th he sang three excerpts from composer Clint Borzoni and librettist John De Los Santos' When Adonis Calls, which is part of the Festival's Frontiers series, a presentation of new operas that are under development. That performance included the tour de force aria "Two Nooses" sung by the Poet. His muse was fellow baritone Matt Moeller. All of the text is based on poetry by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard. 

Here is the text to the aria:
I have two nooses, one for you and one for me. 
Let's die to this life and be born again, together
on a farm somewhere, where time is snail-paced and
two dusty lads may share a bed. Let's quiver and
giggle during thunderstorms and gawk dumbfounded at
endless skies full of tireless stars. 
Let us die now together from our lands so far apart, where sirens
shriek, where soulless politicians wave and
rant and preachers vomit vile vitriol about anyone who
doesn't eat the same pathetic breakfast cereal; let us
meet together in a land rules by hobbits, dwarves, and
dinosaurs in flannel vests...
I have two nooses, both weaved from letters and
poems received and sent. They contain your dreams, your
faith, your scent; I share one with you, my poet my
friend, with the queries: What is life, if but the brutal matrix of aloneness; and
What is love, if not worth dying for?

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