Photo by Joanne Savio, 2006
Robert Ashley – who was best known for his radical reinvention of the operatic form operas and other theatrical works, many of which incorporate electronics and extended techniques – passed away the day before according to Nedslist.
Date: December 15, 2011
Venue: Brooklyn’s Irondale Center
Photos by Phillip Stearns
Review by Augusta Palmer
Alex Waterman’s production of Vidas Perfectas is a new Spanish translation of Robert Ashley’s 1979 opera, Perfect Lives. It’s a Buddhist soap opera, a series of visual and vocal images simultaneously held together and pulled apart by illusion.
In addition to the eloquence of the libretto, a recent performance at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene brought together an amazing cast of characters. Ned Sublette’s Raoul de Noget was an incredible creature, a lounge lizard dressed in black, never obscured by the brim of his Stetson but casting a large shadow with his physical presence and his voice. Elio Villafranca coaxed beautiful sounds out of the piano at center stage, embodying more than merely playing the role of Buddy, The World’s Greatest Piano Player. Ably supported by Elisa Santiago and Abraham Gomez-Delgado as a chorus of other roles, de Noget and Buddy propel us through a series of worlds.