The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Mar8Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, Music, Opera, UK; Tagged as: Aaron Copland, Albany Records, Die Fledermaus, Everett McCorvey, Johann Strauss II, John Nardolillo, The Hotel Casablanca, The Tender Land, Thomas Pasatieri, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
In the past 10 years, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre has recorded Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land, creating one of the few complete records of the work, and the world premier of Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. This year, UK Opera will offer a new take on a much more familiar work, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.
The opera, which is UK’s current production, will be recorded after spring break and released later this year, according to a note from UK Opera Theatre director Everett McCorvey to the group’s supporters. All three of UK’s recordings have been for New York-based Albany Records. Like Casablanca, this recording will include the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Nardolillo. The UK Symphony has its own burgeoning catalog of CDs, independent of the UK Opera.
Accepting his Oscar for best original score for Up, Michael Giacchinio talked about how he used to get his dad’s movie camera and make little movies, and noted that his parents never discouraged his creativity.
That came back to mind watching The Hurt Locker walk off with six Academy Awards Sunday night.
What Oscar-winning, glass-ceiling-shattering director Kathryn Bigelow and her crew were doing in Hollywood terms was something akin to kids making movies with dad’s camera.
The Hurt Locker was made for $15 million, less than the cost of the marquee star on many Hollywood films. And with $14.7 million in gross box office receipts, it is the least popular best picture winner ever, according to Box Office Mojo — kind of ironic considering this new 10-film best picture field was designed to give more popular movies a chance. Of course, to achieve this, Hurt Locker beat out the most expensive, top-grossing film ever, Avatar.
That The Hurt Locker was even seen was something of a miracle, Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal pointed out in accepting the Best Picture honor. Oscars? Sharing the stage with something like Avatar, or even Up or The Blind Side? Those were not even on the radar.
In creative endeavors, money is no doubt important. It can buy you all sorts of resources and smooth the road ahead. But talent and passion are even more critical.
The record books are littered with expensive flops, be they movies, Broadway shows, operas or even sports teams. And our cultural history includes many timeless works that came from the pens and brush strokes of paupers.
The Hurt Locker and other stories of Oscar night, like Gabourey Sidibe’s nominated turn in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, should give anyone pause who has ever wanted to do something creative but let money stop them. Do you have the talent, and do you have the creativity, specifically creativity to accomplish your goals with the resources available?
The Hurt Locker is the latest example of the fact that it can be done.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich