<< -- 4 -- Howard Smith 'MESSIAH' AS NEVER BEFORE
Late one afternoon, in Oktober Theatre -- scene of the finished public
performances; Yuhzno-Sakhaliners jostled at the rear doors awaiting a
screening of Bruce Almighty, a Jim Carrey film showing in Russian.
At this, one of repeated and formerly unthinkable intrusions, O'Riordan
'Almighty' -- vehement, ferocious, implacable -- went practically 'ballistic'.
Musicians recoiled at the show of scathing Irish fury while the hapless Carrey's name became
'mud'. Alas, poor Carrey.
Despite all this confusion, 'mini-miracles' appeared to be happening in
surprising succession and the final two public performances were truly a
triumph of the spirit for O'Riordan and this offshore Russian-Pacific territory.
O'Riordan's collossal venture was swiftly dedicated to the memory of
those who had died -- and for many Sakhaliners it served in an indefinable way to
assuage their deep sense of loss.
After 261 years - O'Riordan directing Messiah for a capacity Sakhalin audience. © 2003 Howard Smith
Sakhalin's uncanny conjunction of tragedy, and Handel's inspirational
Messiah with its message of hope in life eternal -- 'Death, where is thy
sting, grave where is they victory ?' -- moved all those most closely
Copyright © 27 November 2003
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand