Friday, July 09, 2004

It's not a Catholic work if it shows the sins of the Religious. Really!

The opera Jongleur de Notre Dame is playing at a local opera house. No doubt this is based on the story about the juggler who enters the monastery and, shamed by his fellow monks' talents displayed before a statue of Our Lady, thinks himself an inept talentless clod. Then one evening, he decides to juggle before the statue... and the statue smiles! Such sickeningly sweet pious stories are part and parcel of Catholic life. So it's quite funny to watch the director downplay the patent kitschy Christianity of the tale. (One wonders whether the opera company performed similar contortions when it presented Dialogue of the Carmelites a few years back.) Here's the director:

"But it's not overtly religious," the director said of the opera, which opens on Saturday. "Yeah, there's a miracle at the end. But it's about the importance of being honest."

or this gem:

"It's certainly not a 'Catholic' piece. In fact, there's a lot of mocking of the clergy." Indeed, there is a scene in which the monks argue over whose artistic talents are superior."

What's even more laughable is the contrast between the commercial paper's review and the Denver Catholic Register's review, titled "Upcoming opera offers lessons in humility, devotion to Our Lady.

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