Few contemporary operas have garnered as much critical praise as the Metropolitan Operas newest production of Thomas Adès The Tempest. Librettist Meredith Oakes and Adès have skillfully crafted a modern language version of William Shakespeares early 17th century masterpiece that draws upon and concentrates the central themes of the desire for revenge, the abuse of political power, redemption and reconciliation, magic and magical beings and the hope of young love.
In his stage notes for The Tempest, Shakespeare repeatedly asked for solemn and strange music. Adès creates a sound tapestry that richly and cinematically evokes the strange and magical world of Prosperos realm.
Lyrical, plangent and at times fiercely dissonant, this ingeniously crafted score characterizes the depths of Prosperos misery, the mysterious and magical world of the spirits Ariel and Caliban, and the formality of the courts of Milan and Naples. It is in the realm of the spirits Ariel and Caliban that Adès is at his most inventive. Calibans lushly and eloquently scored the islands full of noises and the virtuosic, stratospheric writing for Ariel evoke the entrancing power of this island.
Composer Adès is on the podium for the Metropolitan Operas premiere production of The Tempest.
Adès is joined by baritone Simon Keenlyside, creator of the role of Prospero at the 2004 Covent Garden world premiere. American mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard assays the role of Miranda, Prosperos daughter. Ferdinand, Mirandas love interest, is sung by the engaging Alek Schrader, winner of the 2007 Met Council Auditions and star of the documentary, The Audition. American soprano Audrey Luna fearlessly performs the challenging role of Ariel, which sustains consistently above the high-C. English tenor Alan Oke performs the role of the enslaved Caliban.
When: 12:55 p.m. Saturday, opera chat begins at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Cost: $24 adults, $20 seniors and students