How it Storms

How it Storms; music by Allen Cole, libretto by Maristella Roca, is a chamber opera for four soloists and gamelan ensemble.  It was premiered last night at the Array Space and is co-production of Array Music and the Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan.  It’s a really interesting piece.  The libretto is allusive (at times even elusive) rather than being a straight forward linear narrative.  There’s a soon to be wedded couple, her sister and a very strange beggar.  There’s a hunting scene and a curse but what’s really going on is never entirely clear.  The libretto is beautiful to listen to with repetitive elements and non-English elements.  It’s clearly as much the work of a poet as a playwright(1).  Using gamelan to accompany this makes so much sense.  The instruments mirror, amplify and transcend the rhythmical, shimmering nature of the words.  The solo vocal parts too give the singers an opportunity to sing beautifully as well as tell the story.

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