Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Opera Wednesday

Sorry for the more-or-less consistent absence from the blog lately; it's a case of not having enough time, what with It's About TV! and the parallel work I'm doing on a TV book. I feel as if I've been behind for so long, I'm just starting to catch up. I hope you'll see me back here more often, but if you go to It's About TV!, you'll see me all the time!

At any rate, I was inspired to look at today's choice because it was on the Met Opera channel on Sirius. It's Igor Stravinsky's opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex, which at the Met was presented as part of a Stravinsky triple-bill, the other two pieces being the ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (better known as "The Rite of Spring"), and the short opera, Le Rossignol (The Nightingale).

Oedipus Rex, based on the familiar Greek tragedy, is unusual in that it is sung in Latin, and has a non-singing narrator, who presents commentary in the vernacular of the audience. I admit to being a big admirer of Stravinsky's work, and Oedipus Rex is no exception - it's modern, but with a classical touch (or classical with a modern touch, if you prefer). Here is the entire performance, running a little under an hour, with tenor Philip Langridge, soprano Jessye Norman, and baritone Bryn Terfel. The conductor is Seiji Ozawa. There are no subtitles, but if you're at all familiar with the legend, I don't think you'll need them.

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