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Ensemble

Hope for the Future?

RODERIC DUNNETT experiences
Peter Maxwell Davies' new opera 'Kommilitonen!'

 

American race riots, Communist Chinese soldiers brandishing The Little Red Book, a plot against Hitler culminating in grim executions, the story of Jesus's betrayal by Judas Iscariot, an onstage marching band, revolutionary slogans chalked on walls, skilfully manipulated and unnervingly lifelike puppets, a fable about rabbits, an Erhu (a vertical, two-stringed oriental bowed instrument) producing plangent sounds onstage: whatever next?

Kommilitonen! ('comrades', or 'fellow fighters') is the title of the explosive new opera by director/librettist David Pountney and composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies -- their third stage collaboration -- written for students of London's Royal Academy of Music and New York's Juilliard School. Taut, vitalised, provocative and mercilessly hard-hitting, it has the looks -- and sounds -- of a masterpiece.

To call the Royal Academy's staging of Kommilitonen!..

Copyright © 13 April 2011 Roderic Dunnett,
Coventry UK

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This review is based on the performance on 23 March 2011 in the Jack Lyons Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK.

Kommilitonen! by Peter Maxwell Davies and David Pountney is scheduled to have its US première at the Juilliard School, New York in November 2011.

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES

DAVID POUNTNEY

ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC

LONDON

UNITED KINGDOM

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