Recent additions to the musico-dramatic stage include the eagerly anticipated Moravec-Teachout collaboration The Letter as well as Rufus Wainwright’s Primma Donna [discussed in some detail on this blog already].
Life is so hard for an avid young devourer of high art — I feel a vital need to experience these pieces for myself, yet they are so far away. I read reviews, but even the reviewers that I trust the most, I trust only so much. It’s not just opera either — I’m practically tearing my hair out waiting for Los Abrazos Rotos to come out this side of the Atlantic.
Luckily though, there is the internet. Because of the internet, I can indeed listen to and view scenes from The Letter and so can you. The authors bill this as an “Opera Noir”. Hmm… from the scenes on the web site, I’d have to say not quite. Wouldn’t that be grand though? My Kingdom for an Opera Noir!! I had always secretly hoped that Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights would be just that, but after a few days with the score, I think it’s not.
Then there’s Primma Donna, about which I can make no judgement, because there is a distinct lack of media available on the internet. Ruf — can a brotha get an audio clip up in here?? The only thing I have to go by is this:
My apologies for the embarrasingly long (and grammatically poor) French introduction. Anyway, based on this, I would say that the opera may be pretty, but there ain’t much there. Not to mention that it doesn’t sound like Mr. Wainwright is really making use of the full range of the operatic voice in this particular aria.
Now for some Drama much closer to my neck of the woods: Mario Venzago is outta there! The Indianapolis Symphony dun fired him. He was supposed to come conduct at my school a bunch this year… I wonder if that’s still on. I’ve only seen the man conduct once, but admittedly, I was paying more attention to the piece (Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto) than to his conducting thereof. I stupidly left at the intermission, right before Schumann 4, which I hear is one of his staples. Whoops.
Ooh, maybe Pedro Almodóvar and Alberto Iglesias will write an Opera Noir. No… that’s probably asking too much. Looks like I’ll have to do this one myself. Perhaps it will be my Reservoir Dogs.