Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Release: A Flowering Tree

Today marks the release of John Adams' A Flowering Tree from Nonesuch Records. It was commissioned for the 250th Anniversary of Mozart's birth - and features soprano Jessica Rivera, tenor Russell Thomas, and baritone Eric Owens with the London Symphony Orchestra and composer John Adams conducting.

It's the story of an impoverished young Indian girl, Kumudha, who has the magical ability to transform herself into a tree and sells her blossoms at the palace to help her ailing mother. The Prince falls in love with her, and they marry but are torn apart by his jealous sister. After Kumudha is cast out into a netherworld as half woman, half tree, and the Prince becomes a wandering beggar, they meet again years later at the prince’s sister’s palace. No longer physically recognizable, Kumudha reunites with her prince through her beautiful singing voice.

John Clare spoke with Eric Owens, who created the role of General Leslie Groves in Adams' Dr. Atomic, about this new recording, and his debut at the Met this fall.

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