What a Tangled WWWeb

Shakespeare at Winedale is the latest area arts institution to pop up on the World Wide Web. A page for Dr. James Ayres' class is up at http://www.dla.utexas.edu/depts/engl/special/winedale.html, offering brief histories of the 25-year-old program and the Winedale Center and info on class efforts, the work of Ayres' incomparable aide, Madge Darlington. Visiting it reminded us that it's time for the last event of SaW's Silver Anniversary, the third annual presentation of The Second Shepherds' Play. Two years ago, Ayres and some former students staged this short, 15th-century mystery play for a Christmas celebration at Round Top, and now it's a holiday tradition. They offer it this Saturday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Round Top, with a free stew first at 5pm. Carols are sung, and if you're lucky, Frances Harris' donkey will join in, as it did last year. Says Ayres, the beast "brayed his own sense of harmony, reminding us that we're all creatures of God. He, too, had a say in what was happening."


A New Magnificat Is Born

It's not uncommon in the Yuletide to hear choirs sing a Magnificat, a cantata based on Mary's remark, "My soul doth magnify the Lord" in Luke i, 46-55. What is uncommon is to hear one sing a new Magnificat. The most popular cantatas are from the 18th century, such as the one by J. S. Bach. But this Yule finds our area with a fresh Magnificat, one by Dr. Linda Bolding, conductor of the Round Rock Community Choir and choral director at Pflugerville High. She penned it after having various melodies and harmonies floating in her head for about a year. "I'm fortunate to have a choir that I care for and can compose for," she says. The Round Rock choir will sing Bolding's Magnificat Saturday, 7:30pm, and Sunday, 3pm, at C.D. Fulkes Middle School, 300 W. Anderson, Round Rock. The concerts are free, but attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food to donate to the Round Rock Serving Center. Call 255-5458 for info.


Between Art and Politics

Where does art end and the artist begin? What role do an artist's political or religious feelings play in presenting and reacting to his work? The questions are thorny, particularly with Richard Wagner, whose anti-Semitism casts a dark shadow across his masterful operas. As it readies Tannhauser, its first-ever production of a Wagner work, Austin Lyric Opera, with the Jewish Community Center of Austin, will host a panel to discuss these issues. Dr. Patrick McCreless, UT School of Music; Dr. John Weinstock, UT Department of Germanic Languages; and Joseph McClain and Margaret Perry of ALO, will talk about Wagner's personal views in relation to his music and art appropriated for political ends. Sandy Levinson, UT Law School, moderates. It happens December 7, Thursday, 7pm, at Temple Beth Israel, 3901 Shoal Creek. Call 472-5927 for info.

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