Thursday, 23 February 2012

Death of Klinghoffer

A curious and ultimately unsatisfactory choice for opera story given that the plot as presented sets the dispossessed Palestinian people against captain and tourists on a cruise liner yet the dramatic conflict is not between them,  but in the immediate events of a hijack with a messy i.e. murderous outcome that the hijackers did not want and tried to obscure.  There are lengthy sur-sur-titles giving the historical facts and disclaiming all attempts at accuracy, but as with many operas, one could almost ignore the story because  the music of Klinghoffer  is so tremendous  in its impact [says I who know nothing about music].  Haunting, loud, intense, compelling. From the comments around me, the music overwhelmed the audience in its clarity and power.   Hugh Davies, violinist in the orchestra, observes that 'Adams has been uncompromising in his technical demands on the players and the instruments needed to achieve the required effects.' With all respect to Alice Goodman, the libretto doesn't seem comparable, though long wordy sentences may be the composer's choice.  Too often the brain had to choose between listening to the music and comprehending the language.   Or maybe that's just my brain.

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