And anyone can find it and enjoy it. This is not the Time Machine in the old movies, with all the knobs and gears, and a calendar that can go backwards or forwards, but a real time machine that transcends several hundred years in only a few minutes. The process may take up to two hours, depending on where you are. The magic I speak of is called classical music.
As all classics, whether it be literature, movies, or music, they have all stood the test of time in order to be called a classic. These can be enjoyed by generation after generation, and still be loved by young and old alike, and here in Baja we have a brand new young generation of classical musicians.
The last week of November was filled with three performances of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Students of the Opera program at U.A.B.C. in Ensenada, under the direction of Maria Lozano, (our Ensenada opera star) gave a stunning performance three days in a row of this opera based on the play, Brutus of Alba, or The Enchanted Lovers written by Nahum Tate in 1678. Thus the time machine. The opera is likely, at least to some extent, to be allegorical. The prologue refers to the joy of marriage between two monarchs, William and Mary. In a poem from about 1686, Tate alluded to James ll as Aeneas who is misled by the evil machinations of the Sorceress and her witches (representing Roman Catholicism, a common metaphor of the time) into abandoning Dido, who symbolizes the British people. The same symbolism probably applies to the opera. This explains the Sorceress and the witches, which did not appear in the original Aeneid.
The opera is basically a tragedy, but there are numerous lighter scenes, such as these lyrics from the First Sailor’s song, ”Take a boozy short leave of your nymphs on the shore, and silence their mourning with vows of returning, though never intending to visit them more.”
This time machine took us back to the mid 1600’s in no time at all, and the music defiantly transcended all time, as did the lovely voices and costumes of the young students working on their B.A.’s in music.
Maria Lozano was one of five students who graduated from U.A.B.C. with her B.A. in music in the very first class. After several years at U.C.S.D (San Diego) Maria has come home to teach at the school from which she received her first degree. This truly is a Time Machine and we can enjoy the many years of music from the past as well as the “new Classics” being born daily.