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Bram Stoker's Dracula
- I give you life eternal. Everlasting love. The power of the storm. And the beasts of the earth.
- Me, Myself, and I
Vampires, Lycans, Fae & Witches...
...the Green Fairy who lives in the Absinthe, wants your soul...
...come sup with us....
...Do you believe in destiny? That even the powers of time can be altered for a single purpose? That the luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds... true love?
A Taste of Blood2 Replies 239 weeks
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IF WE HAVE MISSED ANY LET US KNOW AND WE WILL ADD THEM
...even if the're not related!0 Replies 304 weeks
There are over 300 movies with Dracula in the title, I would love to say I've seen them all, but of all I have seen - this is the best!0 Replies 308 weeks
This October those in the Buffalo, NY area will have the opportunity to see an operatic version of Dracula. The composer, Paul Ziemba, an engaging, enthusiastic individual, spent several years writing and perfecting this work.
Paul loves classical music but especially that composed for guitar which is his instrument of choice. He has studied music much of his life, but only turned to composing when in his late thirties and then wrote mostly for classical guitar. His introduction to writing works of greater length came when he wrote a musical for the school where his daughters attended.
Matching his love for music is a passion for reading, and one of his favorite novels is Bram Stoker's Dracula which was first published in 1887 and still considered the classic vampire story to which most others are compared. It occurred to Paul that although there had been many films and plays, about Count Dracula there had never been an opera. His first step was to reread the book that he had enjoyed many years before. Then in 1994 Paul began composing an opera based on Stoker's novel. He felt that a classical romantic score would be best because of the gothic nature of the setting and plot, and because the story takes place in the late Victorian era.
There are two basic styles of opera. The common method is the sung "through style" where the music is continuous and largely without individual songs. The second, most common method is what Paul calls "song style" which has a musical score divided into clearly individual numbers. It is this style he uses for Dracula, the Opera. The score includes a waltz, a polonaise, a mazurka, several romantic arias, a lively gypsy number, plus music to accompany several specially choreographed ballets. Here is how Paul describes the score, "In all the music, melodic themes are distinct and often strongly developed depending upon scene, setting, story, and of course, the characters."
Stoker's Count Dracula was a menacing fellow who clearly bore the stigma of evil. Of course this was not obvious to most mortals, especially women whom he could entice quite easily. Only Dr. Abraham Van Helsing knew immediately the terrible danger he imposed. By the time Van Helsing arrives it is too late to save poor, sweet Lucy, but fortunately her friend Mina can still be rescued. Paul wanted his opera to closely follow Stoker's tale, however, as have other writers, he wanted to present the Count as a much more sympathetic character. He sees Dracula as a romantic, passionate nobleman who is cursed. Someone who has waited ages for his long lost love, and believes that he has found her reincarnated in Mina. When Mina eventually spurns him he is crushed by her rejection. All the major characters from the novel are present in the opera including Renfield who has a comic number in which he sings while doing his bug eating shtick.
Paul has not read other works of vampire fiction. Nothing could be better than Bram Stoker's creation. He has, however, seen some of the Dracula adaptations for film most of which he concedes are awful. Still he has some favorites like Bela Lugosi's portrayal in the 1931 film, Horror of Dracula starring Christopher Lee, and finally director Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation entitled Bram Stoker's Dracula.
In the academic world swirls a controversy over whether Stoker actually based his vampire character on the son of Vlad Dracul widely known as Vlad the Impaler. The intrepid Mr. Z courageously voices his opinion, "Vlad is best know as a tyrant who impaled people as a scare tactic for his enemies and his own citizens. None of this is mentioned in Stoker's novel. Stoker picked a local with the right mythology and terrain that fit." So here another vote is cast on that interminable debate for those who care about such minutia.
This October's performance of Dracula, the Opera composed by Paul Ziemba will be performed with a cast of 20 and a small orchestra. Count Dracula will be playe
0 Comments 218 weeks
0 Comments 302 weeks
The film begins with a prologue, telling how Vlad III the Impaler defeated an "overwhelming" Turkish force invading his homeland in 1462 (see the Night Attack); but returned home to find his beloved wife Elisabeta dead. Having heard false reports of Vlad's death, she leapt from Dracula Castle. Dracula considered himself to be defending Christianity, so when told that her soul is eternally damned as a suicide, Dracula in a rage desecrates a chapel and renounces God, declaring he will rise from the grave to avenge her death with all the powers of darkness. The icons in the church cry blood and the candles drip it instead of wax, covering the floor around her corpse.
Four centuries later...
Jonathan Harker (Reeves), assistant real estate agent, travels to the mountains of Transylvania to arrange the transfer of Carfax Abbey in London, Count Dracula's (Oldman) newest real estate acquisition. Harker was sent because the previous agent, Renfield (Waits) had returned from Transylvania insane. The castle itself is a bizarre, unnatural place where shadows move by themselves and sometimes things (like drops of perfume) fall up. When the ancient-seeming count sees a picture of Harker's fiancée Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray (Ryder), he tells Harker to write to her, telling her that Harker will remain in Transylvania for one month.
Dracula imprisons Harker, where he is enticed by Dracula's insatiable, beautiful, and bloodthirsty Brides. They systematically take his blood - never enough to kill him — to keep him in a weakened state to prevent him from escaping the castle.
While Harker is being held prisoner, the count books passage on the ship Demeter to London. His purpose is not only to move into Carfax Abbey, but to meet Mina, who Dracula believes is the reincarnation of his wife.
When the Demeter arrives in London, the entire crew is dead. Since Dracula is in a box of his native earth and assumed to be cargo, he is delivered safely to the Abbey. Renfield becomes his servant and Lucy Westenra (Mina's best friend) his victim when she sleepwalks the night the Demeter arrives. Dracula ravishes her and drinks her blood. Dracula – now young and handsome again – gradually meets and charms Mina, but refuses to bite her. He also takes her dancing and when she drinks absinthe seems to begin remembering her past life.
Dracula's nocturnal feedings from Lucy (Sadie Frost) have caused noticeable changes in her behavior and obvious deteriorating health. The three men who are courting for her hand Quincey Morris (Campbell), Dr. John Seward (Grant) and Arthur Holmwood (Elwes) grow increasingly worried. Seward (whose asylum includes among its inmates Renfield) summons his old friend Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Hopkins). Van Helsing performs a blood transfusion with Arthur (Lucy's fiancee) then the other two men as donors. But he recognizes also that Lucy is the victim of a Vampire.
Harker escapes from Castle Dracula and makes his way to a convent from which he sends word to Mina. She leaves to join and marry him, leaving a note for her "Prince" (as Dracula had introduced himself) that she must never see him again. Grief-stricken and enraged, Dracula breaks into the Westenra house and kills Lucy, cursing her to be as he is; A blood-drinking monster, who must wander the Earth eternally seeking to satisfy an insatiable thirst.
But by now Van Helsing has learned precisely what is happening. He brings Arthur, Seward and Quincey to the family crypt where they see Lucy return to her tomb. She has fangs and a bloody mouth and seems to have been feeding off a small child. Horrified, Arthur drives a stake through her heart.
Sadie Frost as Lucy WestenraWhen Harker (now with gray hair from his ordeal) returns with Mina, he is recruited to hunt down Dracula. He joins Van Helsing, Seward, Quincey and Arthur in going to Carfax Abbey to consecrate the boxes of soil there, making it impossible for Dracula to use them. But the Count sees them.
0 Comments 308 weeks
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