Bryan Waring’s guide through Dante’s Inferno

“Picture yourself in a dark castle high upon the Scottish hillside, as you rest comfortably in a tall red velvet chair alongside Dracul-the Master of Ceremonies. Sounds gothic? Bryan Waring’s senior composition on Sunday, April 15, 2018 fulfilled a partial degree requirement for Bachelor of Music Performance. The eerie theatrical program was “a pleasant surprise,” says Waring’s mother, Bonnie. The Corthell Concert Hall located on the woodsy USM Gorham campus was the quintessential location befitting the hellish operatic overtones that played into the night from 8 p.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m.

“With friends, family and 35 supporting musicians at his fingertips, Waring directed his show through the gates of hell into Dante’s Inferno, the prevailing theme. In a pre-performance interview Waring made it clear that his intentions to include “elements of opera, death, Broadway, rock and roll, and jazz” for the subliminal background connected the “nine Circles of Hell.” It’s tempting not to label the recital as a play or concert since a few pieces of music involved at least five other instruments in addition to a piano or two. Vocals were exchanged between a chorus and a quintet as Waring made a ghostly passing through Circle I-Limbo into Circle V-Wrath.” […]    –Jamela Lewis, The Free Press, April 22, 2018

Tenth Circle (2008), Lifetime movie based on Jodi Picoult’s novel

 

“Set in a small village in Maine, Circle features teen orgies, adultery, boy toys, date rape drugs, self-inflicted maiming and a suicide that might be murder.

“All this plays out against the unsubtle backdrop of high school teacher Laura Stone (Kelly Preston) teaching a course in Dante, whose Divine Comedy never foreshadows anything too pleasant.

“In fact, the title of the best-selling Jodi Picoult novel from which the film was adapted suggests Dante didn’t go far enough for the modern world – that where Dante created only nine circles of eternal purgatory, these days we need a 10th.

“Seems that since Dante outlined Hell in the early 14th century, we’ve somehow stepped up our game and developed another level of wickedness.” […]    –David Hinckley, NY Daily News, June 27, 2008

Nimrod in Portland, Maine

A bit of stretch, but seeing the name of the giant Nimrod rising up out of the snow might bring to mind Inf. 31.

Inferno V at Trattoria Fanny, Portland (Maine)

Trattoria Fanny, Portland, Maine

Jodi Picoult, “The Tenth Circle” (2006)

jodi-picoult-the-tenth-circle-a-novel.jpg“Bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle is a metaphorical journey through Dante’s Inferno, told through the eyes of a small Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence.” [. . .]    –Gisele Tuoeg, Amazon

See also: the film “The Tenth Circle” (2008)

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)