Monday, November 24, 2008
Emma Goldman Opera
I have always admired Emma Goldman, and every once in a while I come across something that re-kindles my obsession with her. My first encounter, like the first encounter for many people of my generation, was the portrayal of her by Maureen Stapleton in the film Reds. When I found out that my great grandfather Israel Blume, a man I never met, was part of her "circle" in Chicago (my grandmother told me that he was the person who always picked up the tab), I became more and more interested in her, reading everything I could get my hands on written either by her or about her.
I was thrilled to find Howard Zinn's play Emma in the library one afternoon in 2005 (purely by chance), and was even hapier when I got permission (and enthusiastic support) from Howard Zinn to "extract" a libretto, and turn the play into an opera.
You can now see, hear (as midi files), read, and download the whole thing, parts and all here. My inspiration for putting it all on line comes from reading the graphic novel A Dangerous Woman by Sharon Rudahl that came in the mail from my friend Kenneth Ring who shares my admiration for Emma Goldman. Rudahl's drawn characters look and act exactly like the characters in the opera theater inside my head!