The Adventures of Pinocchio

I’ve been impressed by Jonathan Dove’s art songs so I was glad to be able to take a look at one of his operas.  It’s The Adventures of Pinocchio and it was recorded in a production by Opera North at Sadlers Wells in 2008.  I feel a bit ambivalent about it.  I really like the music but I’m not hugely engaged by the libretto.  I think this is largely because of the subject matter so it may come off better for someone else.
1.pingep

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We’re dinosaurs… and we are dead

dove coverThat headline is taken from the eighth movement of Jonathan Dove’s 2016 work for orchestra and children’s chorus; A Brief History of Creation, which takes us in thirteen movements from the stars to man via, inter alia, rain, sharks, whales and monkeys.  The text, by Alasdair Middleton, is clever, engaging and singable.  The music is eclectic.  There are elements of atonality but also intense lyricism.  It’s by turns shimmery, frantic, doom laden and meditative.  It engages beautifully with the text and Dove has a very sure sense of what is and is not reasonable to ask of a children’s choir.  Some short text sections are left as spoken (with a very authentic Mancunian accent).  All in all, it’s a witty and enjoyable piece that doesn’t outstay it’s 45 minutes or so.

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