Führerbunker

Andrew Ager’s Führerbunker is a short chamber opera depicting the events leading up to Hitler’s suicide in April 1945.  It’s a tautly constructed work in which many short scenes are woven into a seamless and compelling whole.  It flies by and its 45 minute length seems even shorter.  The score is spare, even brutal, as befits the subject matter.  The composer told me he had initially envisioned something Wagnerian but feared that that must descend into pastiche.  He made the right decision.  So, the piano line is minimalist with elements of serialism and very  little support for the singers.  It’s a style that has perhaps been largely discarded (in north America at least) but here it was startlingly effective.  Perhaps the crappy Tranzac Club piano contributed to the effect!

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