Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Passengers - "Miss Sarajevo"

Luciano Pavarotti's soaring, stunning vocal contribution to this U2+Eno track is about enough to make me develop a profound interest in opera.

Speaking of, I attended my first opera last week, a world premiere Los Angeles Opera production of Grendel, a collaboration between Tony-winning set designer Julie Taymor (The Lion King) and Oscar-winning composer Eliot Goldenthal (Frida). He wrote the music, she co-wrote the book and of course designed the sets, and it's... well, it's something else. Definitely avant-garde, this opera recasts the story of Beowulf from the monster's POV (and is based on the 1971 novel which does the same). The lead, whose name I can't recall and am too lazy to look up at the moment, is astounding - he has to sing LONG stretches of the show on his own. Denyce Graves has what amounts to an extended cameo as the dragon, and is not only in superb voice but plenty of fun. The music is great in fits and spurts, just okay in others. The set design is big, but not as awesome as I would've liked. But yet - it's coming to NYC for 4 performances in July - if you can, you should make an effort to see it; it's likely like nothing you've ever seen, inside or out of opera. (Didn't hurt that our seats were astounding, middle orchestra, smack dab center stage, in the glorious Dorothy Chandler Pavillion at LA's Music Center. Damn, I love this town.)

Oh man, I love that novel. I had no idea they were turning it into an opera; I kind of hope it comes to Toronto.
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