Sunday, July 01, 2007

Opera - we live in interesting times


The new circus opera Monkey: Journey to the West, with music by Damon Albarn, gets a good review in today's Observer. The review is headed opera, but the reviewer is the paper's pop music critic, Kitty Empire. After its Manchester premiere the production moves to Le Ch√Ętelet in Paris, where Antoine Leboyer recently lamented the virtual disappearance of classical music. We live in interesting times...

Good that the Observer sent an open minded critic to Manchester, shame the Guardian wasn't that smart at Aldeburgh .
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2 comments:

Garth Trinkl said...

This new work is preceded by the late Dutch composer Peter Schat's Monkey Subdues the White-Bone Demon (aka Aap verslaat de knekelgeest), which is/was available on a major Dutch lable; and whose libretto was the complete reproduction of the original Chinese-Buddhist graphic popular folk/religious tale.

I also find it interesting that the new circus opera that you cite is premiering at about the same time as Emir Kusterica’s and Nenad Jankovic's new 'opera' Time of the Gypsies, in Paris.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/arts/music/28emir.html

I further see from the review that the new Damon Albarn et al. Monkey circus opera is travelling to Berlin's Unter den Linden Opera House, as well as to Le Ch√Ętelet in Paris and Manchester.

[I recall, on a half-mindless, very hot August Sunday afternoon a few years back, rather enjoying a Hong Kong huge budget film studio, 5-hour fantastic production on the theme Monkey: Journey to the West.]

m said...

Damon Albarn says that "Monkey... " is "a proper opera and its been really hard work but it's not meant to be some highbrow thing..." Would be quite interesting to ask Damon Albarn to give an example of what he thinks is a "high brow thing".