Crossing Over: Deborah Voigt in Annie Get Your Gun at Glimmerglass

Did it all start with Ezio Pinza – this crossover practice of opera stars singing American musical theatre? Pinza certainly was the most famous, making ladies of the late 1940s swoon in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The latest crossover explorer is Deborah Voigt singing the role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun at Glimmerglass. Playing Annie gives her something in common with Susan Lucci, the soap opera actress; Reba McEntire, the country singer; as well as Ethel Merman. Unexpected company for an internationally renowned dramatic soprano.

Travel

The only real way to travel is to travel aimlessly, without a destination, purpose, or agenda. One should have only the vaguest, dreamiest intuition that the country travelled may be of interest. Once, when I was still working as a curator, my then wife and I went on holiday to a Central American country, largely because it lacked a museum, or at least a museum that would prove irresistible to either of us. We were mostly likely wrong in that assumption, but I can’t say, because we never visited the museum. Neither did we visit the capital city’s renowned German restaurant, nor did we indulge a weakness for souvenirs, although we did seriously discuss the adoption of a small mutt, who decided to follow us on a late night stroll through a port city.

The Nose, Metropolitan Opera, NYC

In this production, though, a Metropolitan Opera premiere conducted by Valery Gergiev, the main attraction is the design by South African artist William Kentridge. It is a vibrant environment of projected stop-motion animation, graphic odds and ends, charcoal sketches, streaks of red and black, snippets of vintage newspaper and encyclopedia, agitprop slogans in a kitschy font. The dynamic projections, evoking the modernist, avant-garde style of Soviet artists of the 1920s and 30s, take on a mischievous life of their own. At their busiest, eye-candy elements shift and dissemble and transform in mesmerizing ways.

Sol LeWitt III: The ABCDs of Sol Lewitt

This exhibition at Williams College Museum of Art is supplemental to the immense retrospective installation at MassMoca in North Adams. In some surprising ways it reveals more of the evidentiary by-products of the thought process of the seminal conceptual artist than the spectacular realizations at MassMoca.

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