This Week in Davenport: Opera, Quilts, Watergate, & Legal History

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Friday: What's Going On in Dport / Posts! / Uncategorized

Tea with Erin Morley

One of today’s most sought after coloratura sopranos, Erin Morley, gave a Davenport College tea and performed this past Tuesday. Morley is a graduate of Julliard and the Eastman School of Music, and she will be returning to the role of Olympia in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-2018 run of Les Contes d’Hoffman. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Morley has sung more than 70 performances at the Met, as well as performances in the Vienna Staatsoper, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, the Opéra National de Paris, the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain, and the Santa Fe Opera. Equally at home in chamber music, Ms. Morley has appeared with Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and more.

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J-Witt and Erin met because they were neighbors before he moved into Chanos House this year. Erin is now a Davenport fellow, along with her husband, John Morley, who is a  Yale Law School professor. Erin discussed how she sees opera as a sport in that she is pushing her body to do the impossible. When performing, she improvises her own ornamentation. She also described some of the crazy things that have happened in operas, including being an understudy and being thrown into a performance 2 days beforehand, dancing on a piano in a clown costume, and the time her duet partner got sick mid-performance and left. She then discussed her family life and how her kids keep her grounded and how her husband supports her. She finds motherhood and singing balance each other out.

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Mellon Forum: Grace Castillo and Mandy Reichenbach

After the tea with Erin Morley, Davenport seniors Grace Castillo and Mandy Reichenbach presented their research at the third Mellon Forum of the year. Grace, an English major, was a recipient of the Class of 1956 Fellowship, which supported her journey this summer through the American South to observe and document quilting groups. This trip culminated in her making her own quilt. She observed that quilting groups are half quilting and half gossip and that, despite skill level, people invest a lot of time in quilting, giving quilts a particular emotional weight. Mandy, a History major, discussed her summer research about the Watergate Scandal. She discussed how the Watergate Scandal was the first major opening to public broadcasting and how these public broadcasters influenced public understanding of the case. See Mandy’s coverage of the Watergate Hearings here.

Fellows Talk with John Witt

On Wednesday night, our very own Head of College, John Witt, presented on the progress of his book about the Garland Fund, and how this group of socially active liberals joined together to give funding that shaped cases and strikes and social issues in the early 20th century. The Garland fund’s largest donation was a large chunk of money given to the NAACP that would go toward desegregation cases against school systems  gave their largest donation. Ultimately, the Garland Fund had long range projects that focused on free speech and that ultimately took down Jim Crow with Brown v. Board of Education. He discussed how this shows that something positive and impactful came out of nationalism and instability in the 1920s.

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