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Grapes of Wrath

Last night I squeezed my behind into a suit and headed to the Ordway Center for MN Opera's production of The Grapes of Wrath. I have severely mixed feelings, on the singers, the story, the production, and not so mixed views on the music.

The music was bad, moving between upbeat, chirpy muscial theater moments, to stodgy, tonally ambiguous hours. I just didn't get it. IT was dramatic enough, and I thought there were some nice moments (Especially between Rosasharn and Connie), but then they would sing somehting together and the writing would be complete shit. Complete shit! Most dissapointing was Tom Joads I will be there scene. I have to say there were 2 scenes that I really enjoyed and that I thought were well done.

1. When Noah Joad, drowns himself. Maybe it is just because in someway I have a connection to Andy who played Noah, but it was good.

2. By far the best musically dramatic, and probably best performed (will bad vocal technique that was perfect) was the burying of Baby Moses by Uncle John.

Well, I don't know what to say. There were moments when some people were great, and other moments that ought not be mentioned. As a stand out - Andy Wilkouske, and the man who played Casy. I did't think anything good about the man who played Uncle John, until the burrying scene- I was impressed. Rosasharn, had the bright clear voice that I love to hear in that hall, unlike most others who have full but not pointed sound that is difficult to hear.

Most of the music seemed to be sung as written-difficult to make a line, difficult to comeplete a thought.


Sets- Minimal, but generally better than most MnOp productions.

Chorus. For a group that size, there just should have been more sound. period. Why can't they watch also. Wankers.

Orchestra- It was fair. For the most part, they stayed together, and followed the conductor.

Would I go again? Probably not. It is a long, depressing story. You also miss many of the political commentaries and hidden Gems found in the book.

And on another note- The Libretto was Awful. Just Awful, he should be ashamed of himself.


My wife & I snuck out after the first act in the Salt Lake City performance. I assume most of the principals were the same ones you suffered through in Minnesota. We both enjoy "modern" music, from Stravinsky to Bartok to Charlie Parker to anything just short of hiphop. I'd have to say "shit" used adjectivally is appropriate for every element of what we saw and heard today, although I have a somewhat higher opinion of the sets and properties. We were mostly bored by the unimaginative music, banal words, and wooden acting. Totally wasted the $100+ it cost me to see this dreck. The boys who put it together ought to have their licenses revoked.