What did you think of GALILEO GALILEI?

Now that you've seen Galileo Galilei, write a review or comment on someone else's review.

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Comments:

Pendulum. Did I hear

Pendulum.
Did I hear incorrectly; or did the opera claim that the period of a pendulum was independent of its length?
Bob

Re Pendulum: I do not recall

Re Pendulum: I do not recall what was said in the opera, but according to my old History of Science notes, Galileo demonstrated that the period of a pendulum is constant regardless of the ARC of its path. This was his first major contribution. Regards, Ben

But, perhaps what this was

But, perhaps what this was about is the fact that for a given length pendulum, the period will be the same for any arc displacement from the center.

Actually, the period of a

Actually, the period of a pendulum is directly proportional to the square root of its length. However, the period is independent of the mass of the pendulum. Do you think that is what was happening in the opera; since all of his other experiments eg. falling bodies and incline planes demonstrated an independence of mass of the concerned body?
Bob

We enjoyed the creative,

We enjoyed the creative, splendidly mounted production immensely. No we didn't come away humming, but it has come up in conversation several times since. One special note: the diction. It's the first time ever that we haven't had to rely on the supertitles to understand the English language. Thank you all for a special evening.

Ray and Maura

R. Egan

P.S. Sorry I misspelled

P.S. Sorry I misspelled Galileo's name. It has since been corrected. Ben

The production, including the

The production, including the set, vocalists and orchestra, were superb. Rather than comment further on this, I prefer to add a few comments relating to Galileo the person.

1. Galileo was born in the same year as William Shakespeare, 1564, and died within a year of the birth of Sir Isaac Newton, 1642.

2. At least one of the compositions of Galilo's father, Vincenzo, is in the current classical music repertory. I refer to Ottorino Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances." It appears in Suite #1, as the second movement, entitled "Gagliarda." Well worth a listen.

3. Years ago, as a graduate student, I minored in History of Science. According to my ancient notes, it was not Galileo, but Cardinal Bellarmine (who does not appear in the opera), who stated that the Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, and not how the heavens go.

4. Cardinal Barberini, an old friend of Galileo's (who does appear in the opera), later became Pope Urban VIII.

5. Other major contributions of Galileo include the observation of sun spots, the discovery of Jupiter's four moons, and the anticipation of Newton's first law of motion.

6. It is highly unlikely that Galileo ever dropped anything from the leaning tower of Pisa. The famous inclined plane experiment was very cleverly done in the opera.

Again, congratulations on an excellent production. Ben Pubols

While this was a great

While this was a great production, and I agree with all the remakrs posted about the quality of the cast, the staging and the orchestra, at the end of the day Phillip Glass does not rock my boat. I had read the book the script was based on and enjoyed the libretto very much. The story is compelling and rather germane to some discussion in the public weal today. How far do you have to go from being against an heliocentric explanation of the universe and denying the value of Darwin's theories?

I am also very aware of the story of Orpehus (or Orphee) and thought the story was butchered in that production. Again, not a reflection on the company, rather a relection on Glass.

I must be careful to differentiate between a great performing ensemble and some mediocre (in my mind) modern music. I do not mind some modern music, just find Glass to be vastly overrated.

But minimilist music is just that, minimilist. I did not walk away humming any tunes.

What an amazing show. Really

What an amazing show. Really enjoyed seeing the transition that Ms. Manson was able to make between Madame Butterfly and Galileo. I wanted to watch the conductor as much as the action on stage. In the Newmark, we are able to see the conducting more clearly than in the Keller, which we enjoyed tremendously.

Could not believe most of these musicians were the studio artists. Everyone was fabulous; both in the singing and the acting arena. Especially enjoyed Andre Chiang as the young Galileo. I was surprised to be able to understand almost all the words from every character, which is difficult in the Keller. Only one character had trouble enunciating, but other than Marie Celeste (singing stratospherically high!), the super-titles were unnecessary. I agree with the reviewer who said that the visual was a very important part of the production, I loved how the smooth and graceful movements on stage balanced the intense, driving eighth note rhythms. At the same time, it is ridiculous for me to imagine how one might think a DVD is better than an audio CD. Having seen this production, whenever I listen my mind can return to the memory of the way this production was staged, and I don't need to see the same staging again and again on a video to have a mental/visual image. This is the very reason to attend live opera rather than only listening to the radio or CDs. To the one who wants a DVD, we say close your eyes and use your imagination.... to the ones producing the CD, we can't wait!!!

I am very impressed that the Portland Opera shows such diversity in programming - Every year, we get some old standards that we know and love, and we also grow in our musical experience when we see newer, more recently written productions such as Galileo, Orphee and Nixon in China. How lucky we are to be able to live in a city where our opera company is willing to take "programming risks" that broaden the opera patron experience.

Brava Tutti!!!

We attended the matinee

We attended the matinee performance. My companion and I thought it was one of the best things you have done - tight, focused, moving and completely enveloping. I was astonished by how quickly the 90 minutes went by.

The review in today's Oregonian was disappointing - it was clear the the reviewer doesn't care for Glass's music, and his bias was evident throughout the review.

Nonetheless - bravo! Keep to this high standard.

Ed Gronke

Thank you for a magnificent

Thank you for a magnificent operatic experience! The spare and beautiful staging made the scientific principles readily understandable. And we were profoundly moved by the music, story, and performances. We've been season ticket holders for years and felt this was one of your best. Congratulations!

I admit that I only went for

I admit that I only went for my sister's sake. She loves Phillip Glass, and I have never been too fond of his music. But it happened to be her birthday, so I took her and expected to just bear the music gracefully and concentrate on the fascinating story of Galileo. As it turned-out, Glass's compositions were very moving and conveyed the feel of Galileo's emotions toward the pain of lying about what he believed in, of betrayal by a friend, and in the love for his daughter. The fact that there isn't a break through the ten-scene, hour-and-a-half story seemed daunting, but everyone in the room seemed to handle it well and there were no detectable interruptions. Nothing untoward on the simple set or in the flowing orchestra distracted me from the story or individual performances. The history of Galileo was very interesting and well-told in its chronologically reversed manner. The Newmark was beautiful, and the performance quite stellar. I saw both young viewers and well-aged ones seated around me, and lively, positive voices rather than grumbling as we all departed. For this being my first opera, it was a memorable and very enjoyable experience. I hope everyone's first experience with opera is as satisfying as this has been for me.

Just attended the Sunday

Just attended the Sunday production and all I can say is "BRAVO" Well done! The setting in the Newmark was perfect. Normally I am an Italian opera snob but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Philip Glass operas that Portland has presented.

We attended opening night and

We attended opening night and throughly enjoyed the production, the singing, the music and the overall experience. It was an outstanding effort.

It would have been helpful to have had a short synopsis of each of the 10 scenes as part of The Plot discussion on page 6 of the program. This detailed discussion would have provided a helpful pathway to the content of each scene for the audience. I think it would have enhanced their enjoyment and obviated some potential confusion regarding who was whom and what they were discussing in context of the opera.

We plan to return Thursday and expect to build on our enjoyment of this opera.

We attended the opening night

We attended the opening night performance and were delighted. We were also pleased to learn that the music was being recorded but, as interesting as Glass' music and Zimmerman's libretto are, they are enriched at least 100% by the performance. In fact, I would say from our total experience with Glass' operas (all of it from the PO's two productions!) that full appreciation can only come from SEEING a performance. That is especially true with Newbury's exceptionally clever "choreography" and display of the science experiments. The precessing of the characters on the stage at various times and the striking stage and costume designs make Glass' repetitive tonal themes actually come to life.

All of this is to say that a sound recording is totally inadequate. It may be too late, but a video would be the only reproduction that I would really be interested in. Whether the Glass foundation would permit that is another story, I suppose.