Tobias Picker and Thomas Adès Score Operatic Triumphs in New York
Dec. 05, 2017
New York City Opera’s composer-in-residence Tobias Picker earned high praise for the company’s recent production of his powerful fifth opera Dolores Claiborne. With a libretto by J.D. McClatchy, Dolores Claiborne is a tragic, dark, and veristic work based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. New York Classical Review praises the work as “...relatively brief but powerful,” and Broadway World notes that in the case of this work, scaled down from its 2013 premiere with the San Francisco Opera, “less is definitely more.” This new version of the opera for 14 players was directed by Michael Capasso and featured a defining performance by Lisa Chavez in the title role, alongside Jessica Tyler Wright, Lianne Gennaco, Thomas Hall and Spencer Hamlin. Pacien Mazzagatti conducted.
(Highlights from the 2013 world premiere of Picker's Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera)
Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel triumphed at The Metropolitan Opera last month with The New York Times noting “If you see one opera this year, make it The Exterminating Angel.” Based on the Luis Bruñel film, the opera follows a group of unsuspecting dinner party guests who find themselves trapped in a psychologically-driven, hellish reality, where none who have entered the party can leave. Conducted by Adès and directed by librettist Tom Cairns, the entire ensemble gave a masterful performance. In an article for The New Yorker, Alex Ross declares, “Thomas Adès is as compelling as any contemporary practitioner of his art because he is, first and foremost, a virtuoso of extremes. He is a refined technician, with a skilled performer’s reverence for tradition, yet he has no fear of unleashing brutal sounds on the edge of chaos.
(Thomas Adès and Tom Cairns on The Exterminating Angel)
The Exterminating Angel will be performed again in March and April 2018 at The Royal Danish Opera, conducted by Robert Houssart and directed by Tom Cairns.
The Exterminating Angel (2016)
an opera in three acts
libretto (Eng) by Tom Cairns in collaboration with Thomas Adès
based on Luis Buñuel’s and Luis Alcoriza’s screenplay for the film "El ángel exterminador" by Luis Buñuel
for 5 sopranos, 3 mezzo-sopranos, boy treble, countertenor, 5 tenors, 4 baritones, 2 bass-baritones, bass, and chorus
3(2,3 pic, 2.bfl, 3.afl).3(3.ca).3(3.bcl).3(3.contraforte or cbsn)-184.108.40.206-timp(roto toms).3/4perc.8tub bells(offstage, 4 players).massed drums(offstage, 8-10 players)-pno.hp.gtr.ondes martenot-str(220.127.116.11.6)
Dolores Claiborne (2013, arr. 2017)
an opera in two acts (chamber version)
libretto (Eng) by J.D. McClatchy, based on the novel by Stephen King
for two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor and bass-baritone