By Bob Hicks
Mr. Scatter is all lathered up in the lobby of Keller Auditorium, and Mrs. Scatter is at his side, underneath one of those big-bubble hairdrying doohickies. Each of us is posting live on opening night of Portland Opera’s “The Barber of Seville.” We’ll be updating our respective posts as time allows, so if you read them early, check back: There’ll be more.
LIVE FROM ART SCATTER WORLD HEADQUARTERS, 5 P.M. FRIDAY, 2.5 HOURS BEFORE CURTAIN, MAY 7, 2010 —
Famous barbers in history:
— Sal “The Barber” Maglie, star pitcher for the Giants, Indians and Dodgers in the 1940s and ’50s, so nicknamed for his eagerness to brush back hitters with high inside fastballs in the vicinity of the jaw and neck. In baseball parlance, he gave ’em a close shave with a little chin music.
— Benjamin Barker, a skilled bladesman from Fleet Street in London, who, after being frightfully wronged by a corrupt judge, took to a life of crime as the infamous “demon barber” Sweeney Todd, casually slitting his customers’ throats so his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, could grind ’em up and pop ’em into meat pies.
— Samuel Barber, American composer of works including Knoxville: Summer of 1915. In photographs he appears graciously clean-shaven.
— Figaro, the clever schemer of Seville, whose comic adventures among the rich and dissolute are celebrated in two of our greatest operas, Rossini’s 1816 The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s 1786 The Marriage of Figaro. A little confusingly, Marriage is a sequel to Barber, even though it premiered 30 years earlier. The mixup straightens out once you realize that both operas were based on even earlier plays by Pierre Beaumarchais.
It’s The Barber of Seville that brings us to the lobby of the Keller Auditorium tonight, where Portland Opera has invited us to blog on our impressions of the opening night performance of its new production.
Who are we?
— Mrs. Scatter, aka Laura Grimes, co-conspirator of this very blog, who is entering her own version of the evening’s events in another post right here at Art Scatter. I’ll be fascinated to read it once I’ve finished my own. Can this marriage be shaved?
— Mike Russell, writer, cartoonist and proprietor of the brilliant CulturePulp, who’ll be creating a cartoon report on his evening at the opera.
— Mr. Scatter, aka me, Bob Hicks.
TO BE CONTINUED …