Jan. 14th, 2019

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Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 1: My car had a warning light on, which was in the shape of an exclamation point.

Don’t Analyze This Dream, Part 2: One of my colleagues needed to renew his badge at work. I pointed out to him that he needed to take the elevator to the 8th floor in order to get to the 3rd floor.

Weather Whine: We got 10 inches of snow from sometime on Saturday through late last night. The schools are all closed. The government (the parts of it that were open, that is) is shut down. My company is open. Can I be forgiven for assuming our senior management wants to kill us?

They are predicting snow next weekend, too. Please, no.

Taking Up Serpents: I went out yesterday, despite the snow, to see the premiere of an opera called Taking Up Serpents at the Kennedy Center. This was written by Kamala Sankarem, with a libretto by Jerre Dye. The story involves a young woman, Kayla, who is summoned back to her dying father’s bedside. There is a lot of reminiscence about her relationship with her father, who turned from a rough drunk to a snake-handling preacher. Now, he’s dying of a snake bite, which liberates both Kayla and her mother, both of whom turn out not to be quite so "weak as water, weak as Eve," as Daddy had claimed.

The story is interesting and some of the music was. There was a frenetic scene of shoppers at Save Mart in the beginning, which provided a bit of comic relief. There were echoes of shape note singing (although that works better for me in the more traditional form, with people standing in a square, facing outwards). There was also some intriguing instrumentation, notably in the use of whirly tubes. However, Kayla has more music than anyone else and while I realize that Alexandria Shiner is a powerful soprano, I find those high frequencies annoyingly screechy after a while. I also found the ending unconvincing.

So, overall, this fell into the category of interesting failures. But you might like it better than I did if you have a higher tolerance for sopranos than I do.

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