Meryl Streep/BAM; Teatro Real met Henry Purcell’s Indian Queen.

The Teatro Real is seemingly the equivalent of the Brookyln Academy of Music .

My first “job” was a lengthy 6 week stint at the Brookyln Academy of Music on HAPPY END for the Chelsea Theatre Center.

HE was the failed successor to THREEPENNY OPERA and arrived via Yale Rep in Brooklyn. Shirley Knight was the star with Bob Gunton, Joe Grifassi and Tony Azito. It clocked in at about 3 hours with a plot based on the Salvation Army fighting Gangsters in Chicago. There were grumblings in rehearsals and fights about the text, the start and the director. When Shirley Knight left Joe Grifassi called a friend of his. Her name was Meryl Streep and she took on the lead. My most memorable event was when I was sent to Philadelphia to pick up a prop or a costume piece. I got there on Amtrak but there was a derailment and I arrived back in Brooklyn late at night. Everybody had gone home as did I.

HE eventually crawled to the Martin Beck theatre for a brief run, but I turned down going with it. My own production of HAPPY END occurred Off-Broadway in 1990. Having cut the text by 2/3 our running time with the complete score was 90 minutes. Reviewers criticized my cuts BUT I knew better. HAPPY END was always a misnomer. The Kurt Weill Foundation stipulated we tape the production. We did so and they have a copy archived in their Foundation Library in Manhattan.

Opera Purcell’s The Indian Queen – Teatro Real de Madrid …

A superb adaptation of Purcell‘s the Indian Queen, staged and directed by Peter Sellars and performed in 2013 at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Peters Sellars combines John Dryden and Robert Howard’s libretto with a short-story written by the Nicaraguan writer Rosario Aguilar, La niña blanca y los pájaros sin pies .

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