My mistake. I initially assumed that the Chautauqua Opera production of Macbeth would be in Norton Hall, a natural setting for this midsize masterpiece of Verdi’s early maturity. Only on my arrival did I realize that it was booked as a one-off in the Amphitheater. Could Macbeth really fill the space à la Aida?
Depending on whom you ask, Go West!, Chautauqua’s second annual inter-arts collaboration, came together in 500 years, seven months, 12 days or three hours.
North, South, East, West: All points of the compass have allure, but none stirs us from complacency as mercilessly as the last. As Chautauquans know, the theme last week was “The American West.” As we were reminded in the Amphitheater Saturday night, that theme has lost none of its power to lift our spirits and open our minds.
Did Saturday evening’s Go West! The Mythology of American Expansion production fully encompass the complete spectrum of the American West? That’s asking a lot from a mere two hours. But, at the end of the evening, we felt taken like companions on a journey full of bravery, discovery, ruthlessness, unreasonable hope and the pursuit of dreams.
After a year of pre-production and two intense weeks of putting everything together, the night of Friday, July 24 is the last night before the opening of Go West!. Director Andrew Borba talks about the final work the team has left in less than 24 hours.
In Week Five, Chautauqua examined “The American West.” Interfaith lectures explored the West’s religious innovations and evolution, and performances like the “Go West!” and “The Ballad of Baby Doe” brought the characters of the American West to Chautauqua. Here’s what people were up to in Week Five:
If this weekend’s production of Go West! is meant to celebrate the challenging triumphs and devastating struggles that make up the story of the American West, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra members are the oxen pulling the covered wagons on their journey.
The visual arts will have a role in this year’s inter-arts collaboration, with images projected on large, moving sails that act as a narrative thread throughout the performance.
This weekend, the Chautauqua Inter-arts Collaboration will cram the spilled blood, soaring melodies, brutal battles and undying hope of 500 years of history and American-inspired artistic expression into a neatly packaged show.
On Saturday at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater, Muffitt will conduct both the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and five students from the MSFO in this season’s inter-arts collaboration of Go West!