Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's the buzz? The Fly as opera.

Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore has written his first opera, but he isn't straying too far away from the world of film. Currently on stage now, "The Fly," based on David Cronenberg's 1980s film, which in turn was based on the 1950s sci-fi flick. But the opera is set in the 1950s. Do you follow?

THE FLY is described on the production's website as a "Sci-Fi Love Story."

"The Fly is an engrossing exploration of the physical and psychological transformation in which a brilliant scientist begins to mutate into a hybrid of man and fly after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong. Researcher Seth Brundle makes a stunning breakthrough in the field of matter transportation when he successfully teleports a living creature. Frustrated in his budding romance with a scientific journalist, and in need of a human subject, he recklessly attempts to teleport himself. An unseen fly enters the transmission booth as well, however, and Brundle soon realizes that his experiment has had 'mixed' results."

True to form, the opera ends tragically.

Lending his talents as conductor of the Paris production of "The Fly" is no less an operatic star than Placido Domingo. "There are very moving moments, very melodic moments. But as the narrative advances, the orchestration becomes harder," Domingo told the New York Times.

Here's a link to a story about the production from PRI's "The World."

What other modern stories do you think would make good operas? Myself, I've always wanted to see Dracula on stage, especially after Guy Maddin's filmed ballet version that used Mahler's music to wonderful effect.

--Nathan Cone

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