The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Mar11Filed under: Classical Music, Lexington Opera House, Opera, UK, video; Tagged as: Arena Stage, Berman’s and Nathan’s, Brünnhilde, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss II, La Traviata, Lady Macbeth, Lexington Ballet, Lexington Shakespeare Festival, Lucia di Lammermoor, Macbeth, Pagliacci, Richard Kagey, Richard Wagner, Ring Cycle, Susan Dudley Wigglesworth, Tannhäuser, The Crucible
In almost any opera, University of Kentucky costumer Susan Dudley Wigglesworth will have to create looks for at least one iconic character. For this weekend’s production of Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, she’s creating a who’s who of opera icons.
“Often the party scene (in Die Fledermaus) is done as a costume party,” says director Richard Kagey. “So it just made sense to give it an opera theme.”
Wigglesworth, a multitalented theater artist on stage and behind the scenes, says, “I’ve learned a lot about opera doing it. I learned, for instance, that Brünnhilde doesn’t wear horns. She in fact wears wings. But, everyone thinks of her wearing horns, so … ”
Wigglesworth stepped across her shop in the basement of UK’s Memorial Hall and picked up a pointy helmet with horns on it to portray the heroine of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” operas.
Wigglesworth — who might be best known to area audiences for her on-stage performance of Lady Macbeth in the Lexington Shakespeare Festival’s 2001 production of Macbeth — has been settling into this shop over the past year as the UK Opera’s staff costumer.
It is a role she came to through parenthood.
The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team has had a great season, dare we say cinematic?
Seriously, think of the storylines that could play out on the big screen:
- John Calipari in Memphis, deciding whether to take the job.
- The comeback story of the Cats, after having to settle for an NIT bid in 2009-2010.
- Recruiting John Wall and Demarcus Cousins to join the team.
- Wall’s meteoric rise to superstar.
- Calipari struggling to tame Cousins’ temper, and combating the refs who’ve made up their minds about him.
- All the high points: The visits by LeBron, Magic and, of course, Ashley. ESPN Gameday and a march to the … the … Well, we don’t know where the story ends yet. But, at Weekender Central, we’ve been kicking around some ideas of how to cast a movie about UK’s magnificent season.
Alec Baldwin as Calipari? We’re kind of liking it, but there have to be other ideas. How about Wall and Cousins – who could step into their Nikes? And Ms. Judd – does she play herself? We’re thinking maybe newly ordained best actress Sandra Bullock. After all, sports movies have been very, very good to her, lately.
Well we want your ideas for the UK movie cast. Here are the roles we want to fill:
Are there other characters we should include? Either comment here or send me an e-mail at email@example.com, and have fun with it.
Lexington actor and former business owner Leslie Beatty has been named the new program coordinator for the Downtown Arts Center.
Her position is part of an initiative by LexArts to reinvigorate the Main Street facility, which opened in 2002 but has never quite reached the level activity that was hoped for.
On Tuesday, representatives from most of Lexington’s theaters met at the center and toured the third-floor space that was supposed to be an experimental theater and cabaret space, but remains unfinished. The fourth floor, which once housed the offices of Actors Guild of Lexington is currently vacant, and the first-floor black box theater has seen a decline in business since financial pressures forced AGL, formerly the theater’s primary tenant, to abandon its previously announced season.
Hiring Beatty and launching an initiative are part of LexArts’ effort to turn the center around.
“We want the DAC to be a creative laboratory where artists have the freedom to experiment and stretch their creative genius,” said LexArts’ president and CEO, Jim Clark, in a news release.
Beatty, who begins work Monday, said. “My goal is to present fresh and exciting programs that serve the arts-savvy public and also attract new and
or underserved audiences to the arts.”
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