sedens (sedens) wrote,

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Hogarth, Auden, Kallman, Stravinsky, er, Hound

I've been lucky enough to see Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress twice in my life. (This is the upside of going to graduate school where and when I did, but that's another story for another day.)

The Rake's Progress, series of paintings and engravings by the brilliant 18th-century artist and social satirist William Hogarth. One version hangs in Sir John Soane's Museum in London. I was lucky enough to see that once, too.

The Rake's Progress, brilliant libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, brilliant music by Igor Stravinsky.

Brilliant Tom o' Bedlam wig by mel on DoA, which set me thinking along these lines after a thunderstorm passed through town this afternoon.

The scene: Tom Rakewell, after a long descent from adolescent stupidity to mature madness, lies in Bedlam. His true love, Anne, whom he has betrayed and deserted, comes to him there. Or perhaps he only dreams her. When he wakes, the other madmen say that no woman came to the cell.

Rejoice, beloved, in these fields of Elysium.

Space cannot alter, nor Time our love abate.

Here has no words for Absence or Estrangement,

Nor Now a notion of Almost or Too Late.

Interesting essay on the concept of time in this opera, with illustrations from Hogarth and other sources:
Tags: bjd, opera
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