Friday, April 16, 2010

Controversial production from new Opera London

By way of a follow up to Tuesday's post on the newly developing Opera London, I have heard whispers about their new production from someone "close to the new company". It sounds like this summer's production of Giulio Cesare by the "new" group will be one of the most controversial stagings to hit Canada in a while. According to the email that I recieved:
They have a young canadian (sic) director that I know from people inside is doing something very radical and strong to the piece, remaking it all to be about American and coalition forces in Afghanistan now, and there will be quite a lot about radical islam,(sic) terrorism, violence, and America's part in the middle east. The orchestra is trying to downplay this aspect because they don't want to create too much controversy or something (maybe afraid of something), but from what I hear from orchestra folks inside this director and his team are pretty radical, and it isn't going to be like anything else seen in Canada usually.

This, needless to say, should be pretty interesting. The director in question, Timothy Nelson, has a blog of his own and goes into some detail about what is going to be coming in the production:
My desktop is full of images of the blown bits of buses, buildings, hands, faces, and lives. It is heavy, and yet I don't think it exceeds the fullness of the work, and that is a good sign. What I love about “Giulio Cesare” is that, contrary to how I think most people approach it, the piece really is a fantastic collage of grays. No character is defined as all good or all bad, they are remarkable three-dimensional, and each has a unique perspective. Probably that, more than anything else, is why I'm drawn to this opera like a moth. I don't think we can begin to understand that horrors of terrorism, radicalism, fundamentalism, or any ism without first recognizing that all isms have a perspective, and even more terrifying, that the potentiality for all those isms exists in ourselves.

In a YouTube video post, he calls the production "What opera should be," "it's about good and evil; wrong and right; ... justice and vengeance" and "that we can meditate on some of these issues and come out changed ... it's my hope that you'll come with and open head ... and find"(it) meaningful for your own life:

and that's just his first post in a series about the production. This will definitely be a production to watch this summer.

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