November 17, 1998 |
Terrence McNally's "The Lisbon Traviata" is about opera in more ways than one. Not only do its protagonist Stephen and his old friend Mendy obsess about Maria Callas--particularly a pirated recording of a "Traviata" performance in Portugal--but McNally also has structured the play like that opera. The first act is high camp as Mendy, who describes himself as an "opera queen," runs through a catalog of operatic lore. The second act turns slowly but surely into opera-like tragedy.
June 23, 1992
The future of European union--and of the man most responsible for making it happen--will be on the line when the heads of the 12 European Community nations hold their semiannual summit meeting in the Portuguese capital Friday and Saturday. Although Danish voters said "no" on June 2, EC leaders are expected to press for ratification by the 11 other member countries of the European political and economic union treaty that they negotiated six months ago.
January 8, 1991
Portugal holds the first round of its presidential election Sunday with the outstanding question less who wins than by how much. At 67, socialist-statesman Mario Soares is seeking a second five-year term. He has challengers from the Communist left and the conservative right, but the ruling Social Democratic Party of Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva did not name a candidate.
March 29, 1994 |
With the wry smile of an old sea dog, Jose Ramalheira recalls the long-gone days of adventure when he sailed in Portugal's White Fleet of nearly 100 mainly wooden fishing boats in the dangerous but rich Atlantic waters off North America. In the white-haired sailor's heyday, captains who brought their vessels back loaded to the gunwales with cod were treated to the public adulation reserved today for soccer stars. Now all that has changed.
July 10, 1994 |
During World War II, neutral Lisbon was an anomalous place, a perilous tangle of intrigue that served nonetheless as a benevolent escape route for refugees fleeing the Nazi terror. Relics of the humane Lisbon are on display at the Goethe Institute: a dogeared diary hastily scribbled by a Polish Jew in the dark days of 1939, old German passports stamped with J for Jew, tickets for passage on ocean liners to freedom and safety in the Americas.
December 28, 2002 |
Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry is mulling over another project on the Iberian Peninsula, where his famous, ship-like design for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is one of contemporary architecture's greatest hits.
March 25, 1998
Antonio Ribeiro, 69, the Roman Catholic cardinal of Lisbon, known for his efforts to modernize the church in Portugal. Prime Minister Antonio Guterres declared today a national day of mourning and Pope John Paul II sent his condolences, describing Ribeiro as "an intrepid pastor" who paid "permanent attention to the less well-off." Born to a poor family in a village near the northeastern city of Braga, Ribeiro graduated from Rome's Gregorian University.
August 25, 1988 |
A fire today destroyed much of Lisbon's historic shopping district, killed one person and injured 29 before firemen brought it under control 10 hours after it began in a 19th-Century department store. Maj. Anibal Matos Silveira, the official coordinating more than 800 firemen at the scene, said the Chiado shopping district will "continue to smolder" for another day.
March 13, 2011
The lights are still on at the Eiffel Tower. They keep ringing up sales at Prada in Rome, and London is getting ready to start partying for about a year and a half, beginning with the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. All in all, you wouldn't know that Europe has suffered through an economic crisis as brutal as ours, because strong social programs in the social democracies we love to visit — England, Italy and France — keep people at work, which is part of the problem.
February 13, 1998 |
In "The Lisbon Traviata," Terrence McNally attempted high comedy in Act 1 and despairing tragedy in Act 2, hoping to mimic the extreme emotings of opera. In this West Coast Ensemble production under the direction of Peter Grego, the acts seem like two different plays--a snippy, swishy comedy about obsession and a melodrama about the meltdown of a gay marriage. Mendy (Don Shenk) has invited Stephen (John Nielsen) over for a night of opera worship.