Sep 2, 2008

A leap of faith

As another season is about to begin, I would like to expand my operatic horizons. If it wasn't for Philip Glass, my opera affinities would all be in the past (merely surviving World War I). So maybe some of you could make suggestions regarding living composers or composers who died not so long ago (Menotti would obviously fall in that category). Do you love some contemporary operas, which ones, and what makes you crazy about them? Or do I have to resign myself to forget about new pieces?


Anonymous said...

I like Britten a lot. Not contemporary but his life overlapped with mine. I adore Peter Grimes most of his operas.

I enjoyed Dr Atomic on an audio-only and I am looking forward to seeing it a)in the cinema and b)live.

I thoroughly enjoyed Birtwhistle's the Minotaur which I think is out or soon to be released on DVD.

I realise that my modern tastes are very English-language biased. This is not intentional, but it is the way it is :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, with Peter Grimes, Minotaur, a major part is the story, and the visuals. I paid attention to Dr Atomic because I adore Gerald Finley!

I am a big percussion fan (played at school) which is one reason why I so like Britten. And familiarity froman early age.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if Frank Martin counts as "died not so long ago" but don't miss his Vin Herbe when it comes to your backyard soon.

Extatic said...

Gert, Britten - even if he had lived longer or was born later - is someone I have a really hard time with.
Does not touch me at all, including Peter Grimes.

Moreover, I must admit I've always found English librettos kind of odd and misplaced. How could I say it? Well, basically the musicality of the English language is... lacking everything let's say (to my view anyway).

Extatic said...

As for Frank Martin, I have not included Le vin Herbé in my subscription, but hey! All I need is a little encouragement!

mostly opera... said...

Of the living composers I am particularly fascinated by those, who create a dense, orchestral sound such as the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. There is not much action in her operas, which seem to focus on internal rather than external action. The immense variety of colours in her orchestration is completely fascinating.

Her first opera L´amour de loin from 2002 is available on DVD. Adriana Mater, her second opera was commissioned for the Bastille Opera 2006. Furthermore she has written a superb song cycle for Karita Mattila, who has also recorded it on CD (the piano version).

Extatic said...

I must admit her name is the full extend of my knowledge. I will definitely check her work out (the argument about the use of the orchestra is very attractive!).