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Midtown Concerts: Medée Perfide, with Ensemble Leonarda

  • Midtown Concerts: The Chapel at St. Bartholomew's Church 325 Park Avenue South New York, NY, 10010 United States (map)

Euripides' Medea is intriguing because it subverts the Greek paradigm of the submissive, subjugated-by-default woman. She's strong, smart, and has an intellect equal to those of the men around her. But she's driven to despair and horrific ends -- almost a punishment for asserting her personhood. We end up with a proto-feminist anti-heroine who is both sympathetic and repulsive, grand and pathetic, and exquisitely imperfect -- perfect fodder for the French Baroque treatment.

We will present arias from J.B.. Lully's Thesée, Nicolas Bernier's cantata Medea, plus read excerpts from Euripides' Medea, Augusta Davies Webster's verse translation of Euripides' play, and Margaret Atwood's essay "Spotty-Handed Villainesses".