Magazine article Opera Canada

The Master's Stroke. (Opera in Review)

Magazine article Opera Canada

The Master's Stroke. (Opera in Review)

Article excerpt

In their fifth opera collaboration, librettist Michael Cavanagh and composer Neil Weisensel call The Master's Stroke a "comedic opera about golf." Yet everything golf is--the ultimately efficient straight line between two points--their opera was not. This shrill, overblown, two-and-a-half-hour marriage of golf's foibles to Greek myth, Mozart's Don Giovanni and the nasty contemporary world of fame, fortune and misguided justice was premiered in the fall by a large, well-prepared cast from the University of Manitoba School of Music Opera Workshop. It was directed by Mel Braun and presented in a semi-staged workshop format, accompanied by duo pianists.

Don Giannuari, sung by Gregory Dahl, is a pompous demi-god-turned-golf-pro who wins tournaments, kills a referee, is revengefully chased by former conquests and answers to a tribunal led by Zeus himself (David Watson). Turns out, the Don is about to be expelled from the PGA and the upper mucks on Mount Olympus don't like that. A lengthy trial culiminates in the Don having to play a match against Betsy, the Goddess of Pointless Sports (Charlene Pauls), which turns out to be an epic battle that remains tied on the 18th green. …

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