Horror movie opera

CA21150.20190613035144Acquanetta; music by Michael Gordon, libretto by Deborah Artman, is a one act chamber opera in ten scenes lasting around 70 minutes. It’s a sort of homage to the B movie horror genre and specifically riffs off the 1943 film Captive Wild Woman in which a mad scientist turns an ape into a sultry temptress. The opera got its North American premier in Brooklyn in January 2018 and was reviewed by Patrick Dillon in Opera Canada Volume LVIII No. 4. Subsequently a CD version was recorded in the studio.

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Magic Flute – the other cast

Last night I saw the alternate cast of the COC’s Magic Flute.  Owen McCausland swaps First Armed Man for Tamino with Andrew Haji, Kirsten MacKinnon comes in as Pamina, Phillip Addis is Papageno and Matt Boehler is Sarastro.  The changes don’t really affect things much at all.  All the new faces are very good.  MacKinnon is a very perky Pamina which works well with Addis who has maybe a bit more of the “cheeky chappy” than Hopkins.  Fans of Owen McCausland and Andrew Haji will see exactly the differences in timbre and vocal technique one would expect but the interpretation is pretty much the same.  Overall, I would say that someone not very familiar with these singers would scarcely notice any differences.  What I did notice is how much better this production looks from Ring 3 than from the Orchestra.  Getting something of a “plan view” makes the antics during the overture look less cluttered and frantic and the trials scene is much more effective.  And the sound is better too.

Photos by Michael Cooper under the fold. Continue reading