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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 4 Dec 2012 7:51 AM

Today in the roundup: Opera’s comedy/tragedy ratio, reviewing Jubilee’s Black Spurs and a followup on the DMA’s art return.


THE HAPPY/SAD SPLIT: If the first thing you think of when you think “opera” is tragic characters dying dramatic deaths, you’re not alone. Dallas Opera General Director Keith Cerny even kind of understands why you might think that way. But as a programming exercise, he analyzed the 15 most frequently performed operas in the U.S. for his latest Off the Cuff column on What he found might surprise you.

COMING UP SHORT: Last week, Jerome did a feature for the air on Black Spurs, Jubilee Theatre’s new musical about African American cowboys. So how’d it turn out? It seems the reviewers found it lacking. “Back in Jubilee founder Rudy Eastman’s day, the company’s original musicals were homegrown,” Lawson Taitte writes on “The performers may technically have been amateurs, but their delivery was often powerful. Sadly, this new commission from professionals with national profiles actually feels amateurish.” Punch Shaw was in the same boat. “The book, by Celeste Bedford Walker, is slight and predictable even by the standards of musicals. It receives little help from the show’s songs, by Ron Hasley, which are pleasant and serviceable, but seldom rise above the ordinary,” he writes on

A DMA FOLLOWUP: Yesterday, I reported on the Dallas Museum of Art’s decision to return a looted mosaic to Turkey. And since then, the story has gotten a little national interest, including from The New York Times. That’s because, according to The Times, Turkey has been pressing the Met to return similar objects, and the museum has refused. “The Met says that the objects sought by Turkey were legally acquired in the European antiquities market in the 1960s before being donated to the museum in 1989,” according to The Times. Also, the paper was able to dig up that the DMA paid $85,000 for its mosaic when it bought it at Christie’s in 1989.