reviewed by Paula Citron
Opera to Go 2009
Four World Premieres
One Lump or Two? by Sandy Pool (L) and Glenn James (C)
My Mother’s Ring by Marcia Johnson (L) and Stephen Andrew Taylor (C)
The Virgin Charlie by Taylor Graham (L) and William Rowson (C)
The Perfect Screw by Alexis Diamond (L) and Abigail Richardson (C)
Conducted by Wayne Strongman
Directed by Tom Diamond
Starring Scott Belluz, Sally Dibblee, Keith Klassen, Peter McGillivray and Krisztina Szabo
At the Enwave Theatre
Opera to Go 2009 proved that contemporary opera is getting more clever at putting itself together. These short operas come out of Tapestry’s Lib-Lab, a hot house session where librettists are matched with composers to produce short operas literally overnight.
This year’s crop produced an excellent evening of theatre. There was not a weak link in the program because composers are becoming more adventurous. In the early years of Opera to Go, composers tended to shy away from melody because they wanted to sound modern. As 2009 proved, the four composers wrote whatever music suited their topic which resulted in freshness of sound and inventive orchestration.
The four works covered the gamut from comedy to serious with a couple of stops at satire. This year, one of the works, The Perfect Screw, was an actual one-act opera and used the metaphor of the screwdriver to make wildly amusing political and sexual commentary.
These new operas show the art form is alive and well.