Real Time Opera explodes the boundaries of genre.
World premiere performance of ASL opera. Read more below.
Text: Patrick Graybill
Music, Conception: Larry Polansky
Sign Performer (ASL): Monique Holt
Interpreter: Tim Chamberlain
Video: Douglas Repetto
Design: Don Harvey
Guitar: Larry Polansky
Clarinet: Daniel Goode
Percussion: Randall Chaves-Camacho, Dan King
Filmed by Joe Reboudo, Jen Poland, Evan Lieberman
Edit by Ted Sikora
Director of Productions: Victoria Vaughan
Artistic Director: Paul Schick
Patrick Graybill, a pioneer and patriarch of the modern ASL poetry movement, wrote Paradox in the 1980s, and performed it on his landmark collection Poetry in Motion on the Sign Media (SMI) DVD. Graybill is an important poet, memoirist, literary translator (from English to ASL) and an influential teacher. Since his early performances with the National Theater of the Deaf (including the revolutionary My Third Eye), Graybill has lived and taught in Rochester, NY, inspiring successive generations of ASL poets and artists.
Paradox is both strangely metaphorical and precisely direct. It is about the great sadness of the absence of basic communication, a subject common in Graybill's work, as well as in that of other ASL and English Deaf poets of his generation (like Ella Mae Lentz, Clayton Valli, Raymond Luczak, and others). In the first part of the poem, Graybill, or the narrator, describes a performance by a pianist and singer of a song with the line "Where is that man I love?" In the second part, Graybill tells us that his mother signed, but that his father did not. He asks himself, and us, "where is that man I love?"
There are at least two available recordings of this work, both are used in this Pop-Up Opera. The older recording, from the SMI DVD, is transformed in various ways and projected during the performance. The second, a videotaped performance at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (http://eamusic.dartmouth.edu/~larry/cc2_2011/hood%20presentations/), is recreated live by Monique Holt in this opera.
Below is a non-poetic translation based Dennis Cokely's interpretation performance of Patrick Graybill's performance at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, April, 6, 2011.
by Larry Polansky, Tim Chamberlain, and Monique Holt
There, a woman, a black woman.
Singing a story.
The piano plays and the keys float away.
"My man, where is that man I love?"
The piano plays on, the black and white keys float away.
"My man, where is that man I love?"
In the hall, a crowd of women and men.
All around, looking at the singer.
She's singing, wailing at the heavens: "My man, where is that man I love?"
The pianist, playing on the black and white keys, stops.
All is quiet in this black and white room, the applause is long and loud for the black singer who smiles and bows.
She walks toward a man. Her man?
For her, it is simply a song.
For me it's more than a song.
It touches something deep inside of me.
It's a story that has always bothered me.
My father, where's that man I love?
My mother, she could sign, she could hear.
My father, he could hear, but couldn't sign.
That song continues for me: "My man, where is that man I love?"
I find it extremely ironic that there is no provided captioning on this video for the person doing the voice-over. Too often Deaf and hard-of-hearing lives are used as artistic fodder, while *real* accessibility takes a back seat.
+mduck92 I was at the actual performance and the point of the piece, i believe, is that none of the pieces actually go together very seamlessly. Each performer, while coexisting, is telling their own story independently. The ASL of the video poem is obscured behind Monique, her own signing is clearly filmed, and Tim offers more of a commentary than a translation. I agree that the commentary would be useful to include in the comments in order to be fully accessible...but there is no attempt to make the music accessible to the Deaf, so I think it is unfair to call the Deaf performer/audience "fodder".
Governors: senators (or knights) who ruled the provinces of the Roman empire.
The first Roman province, Sicily, was conquered after the First Punic War (241 BCE), and the Senate decided that it had to be ruled by a praetor. This meant that civil (not military) law was applied -at least under normal circumstances- and that the new territories were governed by magistrates who served a limited time. The Romans never did change these principles, although other types of governorship became more important: the propraetor and proconsul were, as their names suggest, former praetors and consuls who stayed in a territory they had recently or not yet fully conquered. The revolutionary politician Gaius Sempronius Gracchus legislated that these promagistrates were to be appointed by the Senate (123 or 122).
The governor of any Roman province always had four tasks.
To start with, he was responsible for the taxes. As the Senates financial agent, he had to supervise the local authorities and the private tax collectors, the notorious publicans. To facilitate things, a governor could mint coins and negotiate with wealthy institutions (e.g., temples) that could advance the money. His second task was that of accountant: he inspected the books and supervised large scale building projects. Next to these financial tasks, the governor was the provinces supreme judge. Appeal was not impossible, but the voyage to Rome was expensive. He was supposed to travel through the main districts of his province to administer justice in the assize towns. Finally, he commanded an army. In the more important provinces, this could consist of legions; but elsewhere, there were only auxiliaries.
Under the late republic, the number of provinces rapidly increased, and therefore, Pompey the Great proposed a new law, the Lex Pompeia de provinciis , in which former praetors and consuls were obliged to become governor five years after their term in office (53). At more or less the same time, he had himself elected as governor of several provinces, which were not governed by himself, but by his representatives, the legati .
The emperor Augustus copied this idea when he changed the empire, until then ruled as a republic, into a monarchy. He was made governor of almost all provinces with legions, and used legati to rule them. At the same time, the rest of the empire was governed by proconsuls. So, there were two types of governors:
Proconsuls. In fact, these men were not former consuls, but former praetors. They governed the senatorial provinces and typically served twelve months. Only the rich provinces -Asia and Africa- were entitled to a proconsul who was indeed an ex-consul. Legati Augusti pro praetore. These men served in the emperors provinces with the armies (the imperial provinces ). Usually, their term in office lasted thirty-six months, although the emperor Tiberius preferred longer terms.
There was a third group of governors. In several unimportant provinces, prefects were appointed. Usually, these military men governed parts of larger provinces. The best known example is Pontius Pilate, who governed Judaea, an annex to Syria. Prefects were not senators but knights. Egypt was also governed by a prefect, not because it was unimportant, but because it was the emperors own possession. When Septimius Severus conquered Mesopotamia, he used the same construction.
After the mid-first century, the prefects were gradually replaced by procurators (except for Egypt). The only difference is that prefects were soldiers and procurators were fiscal officials. It tells something about the success of the Pax Romana .