The Barber Of Seville

Trinity 1/Ordinary Time 7 – Friday

Program Cover from Opera Queensland\'s \

The first of the three operas that I’ll be seeing this year was on last night. Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”.

Opera Queensland put on a pretty good show. Thursday night was not only a 30 Below night, but others who had season tix and general admission folks seemed to be there too. So in other words, a packed Lyric Theatre.

I got pretty good seats as part of the 30 Below subscription.

Basically, I was smack bang in the middle of the stalls section. Which meant a great view of the stage and the sound was great too.

Dr. Bartolo was played with great mirth by John Bolton Wood. A thorough interpretation of the lecherous old doctor. Hehe. Thank goodness that Rosina didn’t get married to that old fart!

Don Basilio (Andrew Collis) was hilarious too. A perfect caricature of a corrupt priest who will do anything for money. Figaro was done very, very well by José Carbó. He definitely captured the hearts of all of us who were there.

Count Almaviva (Adrian Dwyer) was a tad disappointing for me. His voice was at times overshadowed by the orchestra and his fellow performers. But when he transformed from one of his disguises, as the student Lindoro, to a drunken soldier and finally to Don Alonso (another priest), it was hilarity at its best. A blessing anywhere and anytime just to get Dr. Bartolo to shut up. Eventually at the end, he voice seemed to open up.

And given that I’m always a sucker for a beautiful leading lady, what can I say about Rosina, who was played by the gorgeous Elvira Fatykhova. Sure, a couple of her high notes seemed to be a little too sharp for my liking, but she won my heart with her total devotion to her role of the beautiful young muse of Dr. Bartolo who is unfortunately cooped up in the house. Such vim and vigor in a woman: how I long for one of my own after last night’s performance!

Best line of the entire night? During the aria (Act 2, Scene 6) by Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper, Berta (played by Adele Johnston). The translation by Opera Australia put it this way when she was commenting on the hastily prepared wedding contract of Dr. Bartolo and Rosina: “He’s demented. She’s hysterical. They’re both certifiable!” That was then followed by her lament of her marriageability being thrown out by her old age.

I can’t wait until the next one in July: Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) which I believe is going to be in English.

=============================

On an entirely different note, last night in Perth, the Anglican Diocese of Perth consecrated and ordained Australia’s first female bishop, the former Archdeacon The Rev’d Kate Goldsworthy.

I don’t know whether to feel happy about this move by the Australian Anglican Church or to start crying about it. This is most certainly another blow towards ecumenism and church unity especially with regards to visible unity with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches (not to mention the tens of splinter groups who are essentially Anglicans outside of communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the splinter Catholic groups too).

One one hand, I have had the blessing of having had good, solid, pastoral care by female Anglican priests (the first being Rev. Carol Hebron in my high school days when I did start questioning over Christianity and its validity of it). But when I read and hear about what is currently happening over in the States with TEC and its Presiding Bishop Katherine Jeffert-Schiori, questions come to my mind over whether the issue of female ordination is biblically correct and whether or not it can be seen in apostolic and holy tradition.

If one claims to be biblically and traditionally orthodox, how can one reconcile 1 Timothy 3 with this move to ordain and consecrate women to episcopal authority. I can understand theologically that women can be ordained to serve as deacons/deaconesses (whichever term you want to use; there is precedent on that both from church history and an interpretation of 1 Tim 3:11). The issue of presbyterial/priestly ordination is thorny: based on what I’ve seen and I understand, Titus 1:6 on a standard interpretation would preclude a woman from exercising presbyterial authority. And episcopal consecration, 1 Tim 3 would cover it.

I may get shot down for writing the following (especially from those of you from CMCA-EMP who read this entry, and most probably who are female) but based on Scripture and tradition, the case for women’s ordination looks sketchy. This does not mean that women don’t play any role in church life. By all means, women will be leading in Bible studies, being on parish councils and committees, helping ministers out in pastoral visits to parishioners, etc just as men would. But when it comes to official roles, Scripture appears to be clear on this: that it looks like men hold ordained priestly and episcopal roles.

As for the now Bishop Goldsworthy, while I may not agree with her consecration to the episcopal ranks, she’ll still be in my prayers that she exercises her ministry in accordance with Scripture and the tradition of the church catholic. I’m not that bloody minded to not treat her with due respect as another human, created in the image of God. And that also goes for the female priests here in the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.

I personally do not believe this is an issue to break communion over, but it certainly does impair it. It will not cause me to have deep reservations over who on God’s green earth presides at the Eucharist over at St. John’s for the moment. But in the future it may.

+ Pax,
bf 1945hrs

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