24 Apr 2010

Shadowboxer, the opera

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland — College Park is presenting Shadowboxer, an opera based on the life of Joe Louis, with music composed by Frank Proto to a libretto by John Chenault.

Opera Today is pleased to publish reviews of this work by five students of Dr. Olga Haldey, a frequent contributor to this site. Each of these reviews provides a unique perspective on the merits of the work and its performance. These reviews are:

Opera Today congratulates each of these writers and, of course, Dr. Haldey in affording them with an important educational opportunity. Writing about music generally, and opera in particular, is difficult because its essential task is to translate the language of music and to describe the elements of the theatrical experience into words that are meaningful to the reader. Critical reception of music, moreover, significantly shapes the cultural discourse. The teaching of informed critical writing, then, goes far in influencing our aesthetic values in the present and over time.

Additional details regarding this production may be found here.