Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wait, this seems like a job for Barbara Bonney

Via oboeinsight comes word of a forthcoming opera on Hans Christian Andersen and Jenny Lind, by indie rock icon-cum-crossover composer Elvis Costello.

(Another much-praised indie icon, Stephin Merritt, put on his own staged rendition of Andersen at this summer's Lincoln Center Festival. I -- most interested in seeing Fiona Shaw -- had to miss it, but reviews were mixed.)

What's interesting is that what Costello has so far finished is "a 70-minute song cycle with 10 numbers that will form the backbone of the full-length piece". Is he still on the other side of the lyric/dramatic border? Opera is not song, as Schubert's attempts show. It may prove a more troublesome crossing than pop to classical.

1 comment:

  1. What is this obsession with Hans Christian Andersen? Did someone just give them some Bruno Bettelheim to read for the summer?
    I have a feeling that these indie people haven't read many books since they were seven. Some of my college professors were into fairy tales too, but I excused that because they are professors, and they need all the fairy tales they can get. Now that these indie types are in their 40s and making money they should get over this whole fairy tale business, or maybe make an opera on "my little pony."


Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.