WQXR’s Met Opera Preview: The Enchanted Island

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

On New Year’s Eve, the Metropolitan Opera will host the World Premier of The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche that brings together the music of Handel, Vivaldi and Rameau, among others, with the characters and setting from two Shakespearean plays.

At 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 7, WQXR will host an Enchanted Island preview event in the Greene Space to explore what's behind the new production and feature some of its performers. The evening, which will be broadcast as a live video webcast, will include arias and duets by countertenor David Daniels, sopranos Danielle de Niese, Layla Claire and Lisette Oropesa, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, as well as conversations with creator Jeremy Sams, conductor William Christie and the director-designer team of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch. WQXR’s Midge Woolsey hosts.

A pastiche means an artistic collection or mélange and in The Enchanted Island, Sams, who wrote the new libretto, places the four lovers from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Prospero’s island from The Tempest. It’s all set to the music of Baroque composers including Handel, Leclair, Vivaldi and Rameau.

 

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
A design by Julian Crouch for The Enchanted Island.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
A design by Julian Crouch for The Enchanted Island.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
A design by Julian Crouch for The Enchanted Island.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
Ariel costumes designed by Kevin Pollard for The Enchanted Island.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
Neptune, mermen and mermaids costumes designed by Kevin Pollard for The Enchanted Island.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
Hermia costumes designed by Kevin Pollard for The Enchanted Island.

More in:

Comments [3]

jj

@ Siran Grigorian: the aria is "Ch'io parta?" from Partenope (Haendel), sung by David Daniels.

Jan. 21 2012 04:48 PM
Siran Grigorian from Tenafly, N.J.

I actually have a question. With so many Baroque composers in the mix of "the Enchanted
Island", who is the composer of the exquisite Forgiveness Aria" in the opera, and who is
singing it?
Many thanks for response.
Siran Grigorian

Jan. 21 2012 03:27 PM
David from Flushing

Though Handel is my favorite composer, I do find his operas tedious at times and wish he had arrived at this oratorio style earlier in life.

If I remember correctly, there was a Victorian work given in a "monster performance" composed of bits and pieces of Handel with a new libretto that is now long forgotten. The question arises whether this sort of thing is the best artistic form. Suppose someone wrote an opera about a diva who proceeds to sing all the well known arias in the course of the performance. Would this be a work of merit?

Frankly, I wish some composer would be brave enough to write in an authentic neo-Baroque style. I never understood why we must always be limited by present day trends and not be able to look back.

Dec. 06 2011 05:51 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsored

Feeds