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Yes, you answered my question, W'on. Thanks for doing so. Now I'm intrigued enough that I'd at least like to see a production of the play... Well, I'm not exactly sure why mourning "becomes" Electra, but at least I understand the mourning part a little better.
OP Dear WW: Would "Mourning befits Electra" please you any better?
Well, wwh, I suppose you could take "Mourning Becomes Electra" in a different sense. What does mourning become? It becomes Electra or Electra becomes the equivalent of mourning. This has nothing to do with Harleys.
Were you thinking in terms of this "becomes", WW?
>(from Cambridge International Dictionary of English)
to cause to look attractive or to be suitable for
That colour really becomes you.
This sort of vulgar language hardly becomes (=is suitable for) a man in your position, vicar. [T]<
OP Dear WW: Your interest in the theater is becoming.
Yes, at first I thought the "becomes" in the title was the definition you just posted.
But now I think the "becomes" means (based on your information about the play) must mean to move from one state to another. Mourning = Electra.
Who knows? Mebbe O'Neill wanted us to think of the "becomes" in several ways... I haven't read the play so I'm really being ridiculous hypothesizing here.
OP Dear WW: Here is a link to synopsis of Opera version of Mourning Becomes Electra. It is short
enough you could read in in a few minutes. However, the plot sounds like a bunch of garbage
to me. A bunch of murders that just don't make sense, with daughter who is party to murder
of her mother shutting herself up in shuttered home, "the family tomb". My interpretation of
the title is now "The Bitch deserves to suffer".
[rant]Yeahbut®, the watered-down opera libretto adaptation is hardly the original play, which is world-class literature, Dr. Bill. Heresy! Treason! If you want to read the play, read the play, the way the playwright wrote it and intended it! Thank you. [/rant] Signed, the O'Neill half of Me.
In all my studies of O'Neill I have never heard about this opera until now...must've been a negligible work, and faded away. Not the stuff to encourage people to read to sample a work of classic theatrical literature. Please, Dr. Bill...don't just throw up anonymous links without some background, draw judgement from them as the autonomous adaptive work they are to use in forming an opinion of the original work, and then guide folks to read this as their experience of Eugene O'Neill's, or any other playwright's work. The opera is the opera...judge it on its own merits or lack thereof... but it's not O'Neill! O'Neill didn't write shallow murder-mysteries as you would lead us to believe with your comments.
Here is a review of the original 1931 theatre Guild production of O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra. Please note the critic's closing lines -- "Be that as it may, “Mourning Becomes Electra” is an achievement which restores the theater to its high estate. It is an adventure in playgoing that no wise lover of the theatre will be so foolish as to deny himself."
OP Dear WO'N: This opera had permission of O'Neill's widow, and was performed at Metropolitan,
so it ought not be a sad travesty of original, at least as far as essentials of plot are concerned.
If You navigated the URL I gave, the credentials of the lyricist seemed acceptable. I cited it
hoping it was a reasonable approximation of original, synopsised to make quick read.
So sue me.
Here is review from New York Times:
"There is a rhythmic inventiveness and pulsating drive to the music that seems a bracingly American
aspect of Mr. Levy's Expressionism ... the score teems with surging music ... gripping ... and, as someone
who knows the ways of the theater, he can create characters through music. He has given us an
engrossing musical drama. How Mourning Becomes Electra stacks up against the works of Strauss and
Berg or other giants is to me a boring question. Let history decide. A fascinating new opera held my
interest and stirred the audience."
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
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