S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

L'amour du loin

An opera about a twelfth-century troubador, directed by someone from the Cirque du Soleil! I had to go.

This modern opera was written in the last ten years. It was her first and, as is sadly often the way of modern opera, none of the melodies were memorable. Still, it's a nicely multi-country confection, with Finnish composer, French libretto, translated into English, which premiered in Salzburg, and just wrapped up four performances in London. It's set in Aquitaine and Tripoli, and has an Italian director who's most famous for working for a Canadian company.

It was a pair of psychological studies of two people who fall into a long-distance relationship over the internet by means of love songs. He is troubador, named for a real historical one from Aquitaine, Jaufré Rudel, who falls in love with the Ideal Woman, once he is told she really exists. She is the Ideal Woman, titled nobility in Tripoli, seduced by the songs he writes. They are connected by a cipher, the Pilgrim, who seems set up to be part news-bringer, part wishy-washy gossip, part ship, and part angel. It ends in cliché, but I'm not sure any ending would have done the premise justice.

The staging seems to be done on the basis of the audience being easily bored. As a result, the 70 minutes that elapsed before intermission seemed far longer, because so much visually had happened. Acrobats, flowing cloths, actors vanishing into the stage. The three main characters each had two acrobat clones. Sometimes, it seemed as if the entire opera was being done by the puppeteers who introduced most scenes with a shadow play. I thought the Ideal Woman was a kind of Japanese female ghost, all long black hair and trailing robes, flopping through the air from above, until she appeared in person, much improved. The visuals were neat, but overdone, chaotic, and often too heavy-handed in their symbolism.

Still - an opera about the twelfth century! And a troubador! With occasional songs sung in Old French!
Tags: opera

  • One more Eurovision song

    I finally bought the album for this year's Eurovision. I listened to it on random today while sorting papers. Much to my surprise, a song came on…

  • Eurovision Entries 2017

    This year's Eurovision song contest features a ridiculously large number of videos with very gloomy visuals, some justified, some not. Over half were…

  • The start of goodbye

    I wrote this for a four-year-old, trying to minimize the amount of challenging vocabulary incorporated. Perhaps someone else out there would like…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.