Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2009

Shakespeare monologues at UM School of Music Dec. 3

Graduate students at the University of Michigan will perform opera and Shakespearean monologues in the McIntosh Theatre Thursday, December 3 (details below). Director Joshua Major had this to say about the event: The performers are the 12 members of my Opera Workshop class - graduate level. Each will be singing an aria and the repertoire is varied, though there is a lot of Handel on the program. Each student was assigned a Shakespeare monologue and will be performing that as well. Unfortunately the arias and the monologues have no relation to each other, except that they are learning tools. Occasionally I am able to program thematically, or do a program of Shakespeare monologues  along with excerpts from opera scenes based on Shakespeare. I have assigned Shakespeare over the years and found it to be a wonderful exercise on many levels. Understanding language, the acting process, metaphor, the relationship between word and music. It also unlocks and demystifies a world that is intimi

Michigan Shakespeare Festival invites Oberon to present pre-game

Oberon Chair Tom Hunter accepted the invitation of Michigan Shakespeare Festival Managing Director Robert Duha to present two pre-play, public talks during the 2010 festival season. Dates have not yet been set for the performance of Romeo and Juliet and Comedy of Errors  next summer because the festival is currently negotiating for a new artistic director to replace John Neville Andrews. Duha said an announcement is imminent. Duha reported that the festival hired David Blixt to create a 75-minute version of Romeo and Juliet that the company will tour in Jackson County high schools next April. Blixt is a Shakespearean actor, author of the novel Master of Verona , and founder with wife Janice Lee Blixt of A Crew of Patches Chicago-based, Shakespearean theater company. Duha said the festival plans to repeat their annual high school monologue contest, and they hope to present the finalists at the festival for the first time this year. He also said the festival's new Marketing D

Tom Hunter announces agenda for Nov. 18 meeting

Dear Oberon, For the first time ever (and maybe the last) an agenda for the upcoming Oberon meeting this Wednesday, Nov. 18, is included below. Just scroll down. This whole project is dedicated to Sue. Here is inside information about what we will be covering Wednesday evening 7 p.m. at our usual room at the Farmington Hills library on 12 Mile Rd. between Farmington Rd. and Orchard Lake Rd. It will be a packed and fast moving meeting which will include a special welcome to Robert Duha,  managing director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, who will announce a special place Oberon will have in plans for the 2010 MSF season. We will conclude our celebration of the 400 th  anniversary of Shakespeare’s sonnets with a look into their personal nature by Tom Townsend and some perhaps surprising connections to Edward de Vere by yours truly. We will also hear from our intrepid travelers back from the Houston Shakespeare Oxford Society/ Shakespeare Fellowship conference with news of

Ensemble Chaconne -- songs from Shakespeare's plays

Ensemble Chaconne  - "Measure for Measure: Songs from Shakespeare's Plays" Friday, November 13 • 7:30 p.m. • Concordia University, Chapel of the Holy Trinity Tickets: $15 - ($10 for students/seniors) Ensemble Chaconne (Peter H. Bloom, Renaissance flute; Carol Lewis, viola da gamba; Olav Chris Henriksen, Renaissance lute) and mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal transport the audience to Shakespeare’s time with  Measure for Measure: The Music of Shakespeare’s Plays , hailed by  The Portland Press Herald  as “ the perfect Elizabethan evening. ” Now in its 24th season, Ensemble Chaconne has been praised for “ vitality and character…style and verve ” ( MusicWeb International ). Mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal has been touted for her “lushly fluid” singing ( The Washington Post ) and her “gleaming vocal colors” ( The Boston Globe ). Concordia University 4090 Geddes Road Ann Arbor, MI  48105 734.995.4612 (just west of US-23 in Ann Arbor off exit 39)

Summerset Collection quotes Oberon chair

Dear Oberon, You might by now have received in the mail or otherwise the latest edition of Somerset Mall's thick and glossy advertising magazine called Somerset Collection. On page 56, you will find a short article titled " The Bard is Back: In a society where old often becomes new again, a renewed fervor for Shakespeare " about Shakespeare's huge current popularity with a quote by yours truly as to why.  Reporter Taryn Bickley said: The play’s the thing,” quote Hamlet in the eponymous tragedy by William Shakespeare. The Bard’s words still ring true. There’s a burgeoning trend among the younger set toward highbrow theater (think Academy Award nominee Abnne Hathaway doing viola from Twelfth Night in New York City’s Shakespear in the Park this year). Thomas Hunter, chairperson of Oberon, a Shakespearean discussion and research group in Orchard Lake isn’t surprised. “His universality and eternal themes – identity, love, ambition, and evil. His passion for understandi

Hunter invites members to Nov. 18 meeting

Dear Oberon, This has truly been a busy month for Shakespeare studies. There is a lot of catching up to do, which we will be doing at our next meeting at the Farmington Library Wednesday evening Nov. 18. In the mean time, we wish safe travels to our Oberon delegation to the annual conference to be held in Houston this year this coming weekend. We are looking forward to hearing reports from Richard, Linda, Ron and Tom at the Nov. 18 meeting. Also, we will be rounding out our Sonnets celebration from last meeting. And doing a lot of catching up, including our take on the UMS Globe Theater Love's Labour's Lost and an exciting development with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. See you on the 18th! Tom Hunter Oberon Chair

Alexandra Clement-Jones plays Richard II

Rude Mechanicals troupe takes a bow after Oct. 24, 2009 performance of Richard II . The University of Michigan's student acting troupe, The Rude Mechanicals, presented Shakespeare's  Richard II  in October at the Duderstadt Center Video Gallery. I arrived to a chaotic scene with ticket sellers turning away disappointed students. I asked if they would seat non-ticket-holders for no-shows before curtain-time, but was told it was hopeless. The mother of student director Jim Manganello presented me with a ticket and I donated money for cookies for the cast in Oberon's name. I am so glad I didn't miss this magnificent production.  120-150 patrons (estimated) were seated on risers on either side of a three-foot-high runway stage about 10 x 30 feet . (Measurements are guess-timates of size.) Sixteen- by four-foot-high screens hung behind both sets of audience risers showed projected images of moving humans and an industrial cityscape in black and white. Another block of