New Jack Opera? 

A new strain of classic rock

Lamenting the fickleness of woman is a staple of rock & roll (see: Ronnie James Dio’s “Wicked Woman” or “Lady Evil” for proof). And yet long before Chuck Berry rolled over Beethoven, classical opera dealt forthrightly with the same subject, for example in Verdi’s Rigoletto, specifically in the La Donna e Mobile aria (“The woman is fickle like a feather in the wind/She changes words and thoughts/He is always wretched who entrusts himself to her.”). The East Village Opera Company weds the music of the great operatic arias with modern rock & roll sensibilities and instrumentation to create something that is neither wholly one nor the other, but true to both schools of music. The EVOC’s take on La Donna e Mobile begins with an Arabic lilt in the strings that underlines the sensuality of woman, then erupts in a Brian May-esque guitar run that is absolutely the phallic power of rock & roll. The East Village Opera Company brings its hybrid rockpera to the Edison Theatre on the Washington University Campus (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543 or at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $18 to $30.
Fri., May 2, 2008

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