Violanta is one of those works which seem oddly out of place, among other things. It’s a one act opera by the eighteen year old Erich Korngold which premiered in Munich and Vienna in 1916. It hardly needs saying that most eighteen year olds in Europe in 1916 were engaged otherwise than in composing rather overwrought operas about seduction and death in 15th century Venice but there you go.
Wagner’s Rienzi is really quite an interesting work. It follows the conventions of the French grand opera rather than the more integrated structure of most of the later works, although as presented in Toulouse in 2012 some of those elements, for example the ballet, have been removed in the interests of cutting the work down to manageable size. Even with the Toulouse cuts it runs three hours.
The new COC creation Pyramus and Thisbe with music by Monteverdi and Barbara Monk Feldman opened last night at the Four Seasons Centre. I was expecting abstract and cerebral, which it is, but I was rather expecting that I might admire it more than enjoy it. As it turned out it was a remarkably satisfying show on many levels.