Alchemy, a proto-science that would lead to the foundations of medicine and chemistry, posited that perfection was achievable. Alchemists boasted that, through the power of the philosopher's stone, all metals could be transformed into gold, and the elixir of life could confer youth and longevity to humankind. The greedy-induced credulity of the pretentious and stupid remains relevant today, where everyone wants something for nothing and yearns for success without work or merit. First performed in 1610 by the King's Men (the group of thespians to which William Shakespeare belonged through most of his career), it is generally considered Jonson's best and most characteristic comedy. Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that it had one of the three most perfect plots in literature.
This performance features AU's Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Yaniv Dinur, playing the Handel music specially arranged for the centenary of Jonson's comic masterpiece.
"Con Men and the Science of Alchemy: Then and Now"
Stick around after the Alchemist 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday February 15 to hear an academic panel of two AU science professors who will be discussing how alchemy was viewed in previous centuries, both good and bad, and how the con game behind the "wonders" of alchemy are still evident in the science world today! All are welcome to attend!