If Mozart had thought to populate The Abduction from The Seraglio with Vulcans and Klingons, he most certainly would have.
Instead, this adaptation was left to Josh Shaw, Artistic Director of the Pacific Opera Project (POP). Their production of The Abduction premiered at the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and had a short run in the Los Angeles area.
I did not get a chance to see it, but this review made me wish I had.
POP has translated that German “libretto,” or text, into English. And moved the harem to planet M113. And the Turkish Pasha? A Klingon Warlord. Don’t question it. The results are strangely glorious. And whether you are a rabid Star Trek fan or just versed enough to get by in pop culture, this zany and pitch-perfect opera triumphs in pure laugh-out-loud hilarity.
Opera is becoming harder and harder to sell, but the love for classic Star Trek is not dead. The production brings to mind the fan-made series Star Trek Continues, a fan-made passion project that feels to me like Waiting for Guffman in space; and another fan-made series, the even more impressive Star Trek Phase II, whose New Voyages is looking very snappy.
A Dusseldorf production of Wagner's Tannhauser was cancelled this week
after the producer "refused to tone down the staging, set in a concentration camp during the Holocaust." [BBC]
Why is a boutique web browser so popular in Europe's last dictactorship? Opera's maximalist, ultra-fast caching keeps bandwidth use down
when using crappy, metered internet. [The Atlantic]
Scene from “Where the Wild Things Are” from the Aldeburgh Festival, directed by Netia Jones
Video artist Netia Jones holds a 21st century-style Wild Rumpus in the LA Phil’s production of Oliver Knussen’s opera version of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are. With Sendak’s blessing, Jones devised a multimedia marvel where live opera singers are projected into Sendak’s world, creating an environment where monsters react to the onstage performers and vice versa.
The opera, written by Knussen in conjunction with Sendak, features honorary Wild Thing Gustavo Dudamel leading the LA Philharmonic in the loud, blustery and…well, wild affair.
Gustavo Dudamel and a "Wild Thing". illustrations © Maurice Sendak, images by Netia Jones
If you grew up with Sendak’s books and happen to be in Los Angeles this weekend, I highly recommend this performance. You can get tickets here.
Disclosure: I work for the LA Phil.
Philip Glass and the English National Opera will stage "The Perfect American," adapted from Peter Stephan Jungk's fictionalized account of Walt Disney's last months.
ENO to stage Philip Glass opera about the last days of Walt Disney
Glass – described by the ENO as “one of the world’s most important composers” – said the life of the man behind Mickey Mouse was “unimaginable, alarming and truly frightening”.
The story follows cartoonist Wilhelm Dantine, who worked for Disney in the 1950s. The production does not have the rights to use Disney’s most famous characters, but it is likely to find a way to reference them. Berry said: “Glass is very interested in the impact that a personality of that order has on wider culture.”
djBC, the archduke of mashup, has created a video to accompany his 2005 "wemix" of the classic Chuck Jones 1957 Bugs Bunny cartoon "What's Opera, Doc?"
Whats Opera, Doc? (dj BC Wemix)