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Thread: Contemporary opera

  1. #121
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    No, I don't.

    La Cuzzoni, based on the life of the Baroque Opera's diva, with a libretto by Marc Rosich and music by the Spanish composer Agustí Charles was premiered the year 2007, at Darmstadt, and staged later in Madrid and Barcelona.


    It's an interesting effort:



    Later, in 2011, Charles also has premiered at Darmstadt his second opera, Lord Byron:


  2. #122
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    "Bluthaus" by Haas needs to be recorded ASAP!

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    Fausto Romitelli (Gorizia, 1963 - Milano, 2004) was one of the most interesting composers of the last decades. He was an admirer of Scelsi, Ligeti and French spectralism, and also a researcher in the physical reality of sound, looking for new timbres, and the use all the available acoustic space as a continuum. A deliverer of abstract and violent sounds.


    An Index of Metals was his last work, completed in 2003, and here his quest for a new musical language was (almost) fulfilled. In this "video opera for soprano, ensemble, multiple projections and electronics" there is no conventional libretto, a single vocalist, and her voice is even distorted. However, we can almost feel the metals of the index. A fascinating new kind of opera.


    There is a CD/DVD available:





    And we can watch it in youtube:



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  5. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morimur View Post
    "Bluthaus" by Haas needs to be recorded ASAP!
    I intend to listen to "Thomas" soon, too.

  6. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    Fausto Romitelli (Gorizia, 1963 - Milano, 2004) was one of the most interesting composers of the last decades. He was an admirer of Scelsi, Ligeti and French spectralism, and also a researcher in the physical reality of sound, looking for new timbres, and the use all the available acoustic space as a continuum. A deliverer of abstract and violent sounds.


    An Index of Metals was his last work, completed in 2003, and here his quest for a new musical language was (almost) fulfilled. In this "video opera for soprano, ensemble, multiple projections and electronics" there is no conventional libretto, a single vocalist, and her voice is even distorted. However, we can almost feel the metals of the index. A fascinating new kind of opera.
    Thank you schigolch (I would dare say he completed the opera on 2004, because he was writing it from his bed at the hospital just before his death), I expect your comments on Aperghis' Avis de tempête, dedicated to Romitelli.


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  8. #126
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    It's in youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOwVBnr4Aso



    William Bolcom
    is one of the American composers that are trying to expand the target audience of opera, as a genre, in the US.

    He has written pieces in just about every genre: symphonies, chamber music, piano music, songs (mostly for her wife, the singer Joan Morris), soundtracks...

    And of course, opera. For instance, A View from the Bridge, was premiere at the Chicago's Lyric Opera, back in 2001. Based on Arthur Miller's play, later also adapted to the screen, it's a story about working and living in the docks, that was a kind of answer from Miller to Kazan's "On the Waterfront", after the two former friends broke their ties after the interrogations by the Committee on Un-American Activities.

    Bolcom's music is quite approachable; this is popular opera, in a sense.



    It's not that Bolcom is not inventive. His next opera, A Wedding, also premiered in Chicago, and based on Robert Altman's movie, it's an intelligent blend of melody and drama to control how nineteen characters enter and leave the stage. It's traditional, but also kind of modern at the same time.

  9. #127
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    Thank you, schigolch, I already have (and love) the Cd by Ictus, I just wanted to know your much respected opinion; pity there's no video nor has been staged since its premiere...

  10. #128
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    Not a big fan, really.

    Peter Eötvös is a Hungarian composer and conductor, born in 1944, and educated in Hungary and Germany. He has worked also many years in France. From very avant-garde positions, he evolved into a more eclectic approach to music, though he is somewhat more interested in the nature of sound, in timbre, in rhythm... than in melody.

    He has written around a dozen operas, one of the latest being an adaptation of García Márquez's Of Love and Other Demons, premiered in Glynderbourne:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfwJwBzLxV8

    Also interesting is Lady Sarashina, premiered the year 2008 in Lyon, and based on a lovely diary of a Japanese aristocrat of the 11th century:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITWg4b68oig

    Though arguably his two most succesful works so far are:



    Three sisters, based in Chekhov, and written in 1997. It was also premiered in Lyon, conducted by Kent Nagano. There are some fascinating intrumental moments. However, the libretto and the vocal writing perhaps were not so fortunate, and the decision to use countertenors for the roles of the sisters, was not well received by some critics.



    And then the very interesting Angels in America, premiered the year 2003, based on the play by Tony Kushner. There is an impressive palette of sounds, and a good balance between singing and dialogue.


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    The American composer Ricky Ian Gordon, (New York, 1956) was experienced in musicals, before jumping to Opera. Some years ago, I was attending one of those musicals, My life with Albertine, mainly because of my interest in Proust, but I really enjoyed the performance.


    The year 2005 he premiered just another version of Orpheus and Euridice, in this case in the guise of a chamber opera with a soprano (Elizabeth Frutal, in the premiere) singing Euridice, a clarinetist as Orpheus and one piano.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_va5foap3g

    A couple of years later, he premiered his first full lenght opera in Minnesota, The Grapes of Wrath. Gordon was shrewd enough to hire a professional writer as a librettist. Very accessible music, with a lot of Broadway and Americana... but recycled and transformed to offer an interesting hearing:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRbkh1vftcE

    And more recently, he was commissioned by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to write Twenty-Seven, an opera about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and their life at 27 Rue de Fleurus, in Paris.


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  13. #130
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    I would just like to point out that my mind is always split in two on the loony that is Meredith Monk. One might use the equation "x + y = 1" to represent this phenomenon, with x representing the fraction of my brain that responds to Monk with "Good music!" and y being the fraction of my brain that says "Umm, you're annoying, Meredith". Clearly, the value of x overpowered the value of y this morning, because I'm posting this for the heck of it:

    41RXWavK8OL._SY300_.jpg

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  15. #131
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    Louis Andriessen (Utrech, 1939), is a Dutch composer, the son of the musician Hendrik Andriessen. In his long career, Andriessen had experimented with serialism, minimalism, melody 'deconstruction',...


    As an opera composer, arguably his more succesful work is De Materie, premiered in 1988:





    Other operas include:


    The Death of a Composer - 1994



    With a libretto by the movie director Peter Greenaway, part of his outlandish series on the death of ten real and fictitious composers. In this case, the main character is Rosa, an Argentinian composer that want to write Hollywood soundtracks, but is murdered before he can even start with the first. This was also filmed for television.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaD-2POCgKg

    Writing to Vermeer - 1999



    Again with a libretto by Mr. Greenaway; very nice cover.



    In La Commedia, more recently premiered in Amsterdam, and based on Dante, Andriessen worked with Hal Hartley, instead of Mr. Greenaway, and also introduced some electronic music from Dutch composer Anke Brouwer. It's complete in youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TKoN_HYJBg

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  17. #132
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    Current Listening:
    2944552.jpg

    Even by the standards of Greek tragedy, the story of Philomela is particularly gruesome. Philomela, sister of Procne, was raped by her brother-in-law Tereus, who then cut out her tongue to prevent her revealing his crime. When Philomela eventually managed to tell her sister what had happened, the two took *revenge on Tereus by killing his son Itys and serving the flesh for him to eat, at which point the gods decided that enough was enough, and turned all three of them into birds. This is James Dillon's first *opera, staged in Porto three years ago, and this recording comes from a concert performance at the same time. Dillon casts the tragedy as a tightly *woven three-hander, in which different layers of narration and *narrative time, as well as what is *performed live and what is *pre-*recorded, combine to create a *complex web of connections between past and present. The ensemble writing is tough and sinewy, the vocal lines highly wrought; it's not a comfortable listen, but it is a fascinating one, and the *performance, with Anu Komsi as *Philomela and Susan Narucki as her *sister, is superbly vivid.

    - Andrew Clements, The Guardian, Nov. 2009

    James Dillon's music is always an exciting listen for me. Despite its place amongst the "New Complexity" school (or perhaps, *because* of its place?), it always manages to be some of the most expressive contemporary music out there.

    On another note, I found myself wondering yesterday about Magnus Lindberg and whether or not he will ever turn to theatre. As his music grows more and more friendly to the concert hall over the last couple of decades, I wonder why he has not worked much with vocal mediums. His music seems ripe for a colorful neo-romantic opera.

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  19. #133
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    Current listening:



    The world premiere of "The Classical Style: An Opera (Of Sorts)"

    Steven Stucky composed music to a libretto by the pianist Jeremy Denk. It's a comic, postmodern opera about the classic critical study by Charles Rosen.

    Jeremy Denk explains the premise of the opera as "the nerdiest love triangle ever invented":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQfTveXGt0

    It's all a bit twee, but I like it.

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  21. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blancrocher View Post
    Current listening:



    The world premiere of "The Classical Style: An Opera (Of Sorts)"

    Steven Stucky composed music to a libretto by the pianist Jeremy Denk. It's a comic, postmodern opera about the classic critical study by Charles Rosen.

    Jeremy Denk explains the premise of the opera as "the nerdiest love triangle ever invented":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQfTveXGt0

    It's all a bit twee, but I like it.
    I was at the premier at the Ojai Festival.

    O my goodness you can see the back of my head. I am to the right of the announcer in front of the gentleman with the blue shirt. I am a grey haired gentleman with a white shirt.
    Last edited by arpeggio; Apr-09-2015 at 14:24.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Beat Furrer (Switzerland, 1954), is a conductor and composer that have written a few operas.


    Fama, premiered in 2005, is arguably the most accomplished, with very good reviews and already staged in several countries.


    The libretto is a bit confusing. It's supposed to be taking place at the house of Fama, the Goddes of Rumor, while in other plane is also a version of Schnitzler's novella, "Fräulein Else".


    In musical terms, the result is excellent, and not confusing at all. Furrer is a big supporter of Salvatore Sciarrino's music, and this opera is close to the best productions of the Sicilian master. It makes for a quite interesting hearing. It's complete in youtube:




    Wüstenbuch is from 2010:


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