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The Gonzales Cantata (review)

Carolyn Huckabay of CityPaper (Philadelphia)

Like a classed-up Auto-Tune the News, the Rachel Maddow-hyped Gonzales Cantata breathes life into stale political proceedings: Lovely conductor/composer Melissa Dunphy has seamlessly re-created former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ 2007 judiciary hearings as an opera, with epic results. Women are played by men and vice versa (a female Arlen Specter, for example, sports a ball gown and tiara), the 17-part score tracing Gonzales’ recorded missteps (including 72 instances of the phrase “I don’t recall,” aria-style). Dunphy’s material -- the often-humdrum hearings themselves -- is somewhat limiting to the singers, who can only take their roles so far without veering from the script; here’s hoping she’s working on something Sarah Palin-related in time for the 2012 presidential race.

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