William Bolcom's 'A View from the Bridge',
heard by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
America's 'new' operatic productions are very little known in Italy, in spite of the amount, variety and quality and the stated intention to capture new audience for music theatre through strong librettos and eclectic but easily understood scores. In the 2009-10 season, in spite of the hard economic cycle, at least twelve new operas were premièred in the USA; of these, two (Il Postino by Daniel Catán and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Ricky Ian Gordon) were based on well-known Italian movies. In Germany, Austria and a few other European countries, 'new' American operas are often performed, but in Italy only André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire and Lorin Maazel's 1984 have been seen in major opera houses. For the 'new' American theatre, I mean the genre that has quietly developed over the last century or so starting with masterpieces such as Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul. Floyd and Moore combined traditional European operatic models with American folk influences to tell a distinctly American story: in the case of Baby Doe, the real-life rags-to-riches story of Horace 'Silver Dollar' Tabor and in the case of Susannah, a Biblical tragedy re-set in the American bible belt...
Copyright © 23 January 2011