Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Art And Religion In A Time of Empire

"[Poet and librettist Alice Goodman] had, she believed, left writing behind, but found herself working again with Adams and Sellars on Doctor Atomic, an opera about the scientists who built the first atomic bomb. However, after a year on the project she quit — the balance of the partnership had shifted, the old sense of equality had gone. "That," she says, good-naturedly, "had to do with the simple fact that John has gone on from Nixon and Klinghoffer to become a very, very famous and powerful composer, and I've gone on to become a priest in the Church of England!"

She is, however, working on a new project with Sellars, a version of The Consolation of Philosophy. And all that experience in opera is helping a lot with the preaching —in literary terms, she says, a sermon is not unlike an aria. The concert halls of the world and the parish churches of England are not as different as they first appear."

Susan Mansfield "Has Her Life Been the Proverbial 'Curate's Egg'?" in The Scotsman [Edinburgh] August 22, 2005 via

Boethius. De consolatione philosophiae (Ghent, 1485). This early printed book has many hand-painted illustrations depicting Lady Philosophy and scenes of daily life in fifteenth-century Ghent. (Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)


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