THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Dame Edith Sitwell in a 1918 portrait by Roger Fry<br />

Review: Facade: An Entertainment | Orchestra of New Spain | Hilton Dallas Park Cities


New Spain? No Spain!

The Orchestra of New Spain goes 1920s British for an evening of poetry and music by Edith Sitwell and William Walton.



published Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dame Edith Sitwell in a 1918 portrait by Roger Fry

Dallas — Dallas' Orchestra of New Spain specializes in Baroque music from Hispanic countries, both Spain and the New World. Thus it was only natural that on Oct. 15, in the ballroom of the Hilton Dallas/Park Cities, it should perform the very British Façade—An Entertainment, poems by Edith Sitwell set to music by William Walton, with a 1920s ambiance.

Wait, what? Yes, with modern instruments—including a saxophone, no less—and replete with audience members in 1920s-themed garb, this was not the Orchestra of New Spain's usual oeuvre. Nor was it the group's usual performance space—this is an orchestra more accustomed to the vaulted ceilings of local churches than the crown moldings and rather-the-worse-for-wear carpets of a local Hilton.

However, ONS performed the piece again Oct. 18 at the McNay Museum in San Antonio in conjunction with its exhibit of later works of Joan Miró, so there was method in the considerable madness.

The Dallas show's small audience clearly enjoyed Walton and Sitwell's piece, and no wonder. It is fun and quirky, using quotations from a variety of other pieces, from traditional dance forms to Rossini's Overture to William Tell. In fact, it is odd enough that on first hearing, many critics loathed it, calling it "drivel" and "relentless cacophony." But almost a century later, it seems like a fast-paced, lighthearted romp, a series of musical miniatures set to poetry that is in itself musical, with words seemingly chosen more often for their sounds than for their meanings.

Written for six instruments and reciter, the work is less a narrated piece in the conventional sense than one that uses the speaker as a sort of percussion instrument, with the text of
Sitwell's poems in a jazzy counterpoint to Walton's quirky music. WRR radio personality
Nancy Brunson and baritone Edward Crafts provided lively, energetic and well-timed
readings. The six members of the ensemble are all capable players who brought verve and whimsy to the proceedings.

However, the version of Façade (there are several) presented in Dallas was not long enough to comprise an entire concert program. Recognizing that, Wilkins and company attempted to fill out the program by, at the beginning, performing two of the selections twice, one without text at all, and one with the text and the music separately. This seemed unnecessary, although the two short pieces by Debussy and Honegger performed by flutist Julee Kim Walker were a pleasant enough addition.

Wilkins also talked overmuch—the performance was set to start at 7 p.m. but there was not a note of music until 7:20. (And the references to "Edith and Walton" were cringeworthy. Please, "Sitwell and Walton," or even "Dame Edith and Sir William," though that seems a bit odd on this side of the pond.)

Orchestra of New Spain's foray into modernism was an interesting experiment that with some minor tweaking and some expansion into full concert length could be worthy of further exploration. This is a piece that is seldom performed and takes a particular set of personalities as much as musical gifts to pull it off. In that regard, the evening was a success. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
New Spain? No Spain!
The Orchestra of New Spain goes 1920s British for an evening of poetry and music by Edith Sitwell and William Walton.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre Watertower Theatre Uptown Players Breadcrumbs Bocelli American Airlines center Collin Theatre Center John Corigliano at TCU Echo Theatre Firehouse Theatre Constellations Theatre Arlington Lyric Stage Camelot Dallas Opera The Drama Club Cara Mia Lakecities Ballet Theatre
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit