Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekend in Minneapolis

I had a lovely busy weekend, this first weekend after Florida.

Saturday was religion-based, appropriate for Lent. I had a class at my new church, St. George’s, on Lay Eucharistic Ministry.

My old church, The Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Mark, is doing a music series and offered Bach’s B-Minor Mass Saturday evening. I love classical music, Bach is my favorite composer, and his B-Minor Mass is probably my favorite of his works. I asked around and found an old friend, John Wagner, to go with me. The Cathedral church is beautiful in the Gothic style and its acoustics are wonderful. It has a large sanctuary, with rows of stacked pews facing one another before the altar. The choir sat and stood there, with the orchestra on the floor between them. To me, one of the great, stir-the-blood-with-anticipation sounds is an orchestra tuning up. Then comes that moment of silence, followed by the gentle sound of the first violin’s A. The other instruments are tuned to it, some musicians adding little flourishes. Then another silence. Then applause as the conductor enters - the Cathedral's own Raymond Johnson. Then it begins, “Kyrie Eleison . . .” Lord have mercy upon us. The Mass is long, the music repeats and lingers over passages, building and relapsing, building again. In the Credo there is the infinitely sad Crucifixus, “passus et sepultus est,” died and was buried, followed by the jump-up-cheering “Et resurrexit . . .!” The Sanctus is magnificent, the basses’ and baritones’ voices booming like mighty bells. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts! And at the very end, “Dona nobis pacem,” grant us peace. Lovely.

Sunday afternoon I went with another friend to see Gilbert and Sullivan’s silliness distilled in “Patience,” in which the pair took on the “ethereal” movement. It was a big fad in its time. Men grew thin and let their hair grow long and they wrote poetry full of weighty thoughts and big words. The women sighed after them and wore Greek-inspired clothing and played lyres and Pan pipes – badly. The play was very funny. My only problem with it was that none of the songs were memorable. No “Let the punishment fit the crime” as in Micado, or “A policeman’s lot is not a happy one,” as in Pirates. Still, this production was great fun – I am a big fan of G&S, and we are lucky to have the excellent Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company in Minneapolis who put on a play every year. Next year, The Yeomen of the Guard.

Minneapolis offers Broadway road shows, we are on the regular tour of Cirque de Soleil, and we own the very excellent and nationally known Guthrie Theater, but there are also lots of lesser offerings – numerous coffee houses and clubs, and countless excellent little theater presentations: Theater in the Round, Jungle Theater, Garage Theater, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, for example. If the mood strikes, you can find something to do of that sort every weekend. If the weather permits, of course. Some evenings you look out the window and decide to settle for popcorn at home.

What’s there to do where you live?


Christine Thresh said...

And I've just read that popcorn is very good for you. Also, chocolate eaters are slimmer than most people. Really!
I loved your descriptions today.
I re-read Threadbare yesterday. Sad story.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm in LA, Monica. Lots to do--but I really don't take advantage of it enough. I admit, though, that the weather usually does permit!

Monica Ferris said...

I like popcorn in all its incarnations, especially the not-so-good-for-you blend of plain, cheese and caramel corn. But the plain with only salt kind is good, too. And I'm discovering the delights of dark chocolate. How can something so luxurious be good for me? It's a puzzle I'm willing to explore further.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, the the cheese and caramel corn mixture is also known as Chicago mix. I don't know if you have ever had Garrett's Chicago mix (I think they invented it), but it is fantastic.