Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Fantasy Opera: time to cast your (contemporary) vote

A little more than a fortnight ago, I asked readers which neglected (unstaged as yet at Covent Garden) opera they would most like to see next season. Since the polling gadget I used did not offer a closing date, that poll is still open, for anyone who would still like to participate. However, Birtwistle's Mask of Orpheus came out in front at the outset and has maintained that lead throughout, with Strauss's Die Liebe der Danae relatively soon settling into a good second place.

I thought it might now be interesting to see which contemporary composer readers would be most keen to have compose a new opera for an imaginary new season. Some choices will doubtless be absent, but I hope that everyone will be able to find something palatable from the following list. The selection veers, though not exclusively, towards more senior composers, if only because they will often have had more of a chance to make international names for themselves; it should certainly not be inferred that I should only wish to choose from their ranks. There is also probably something of a bias towards English composers, but again I hope not excessively so. Nor is inclusion in the list a sign of favour; I have tried to include at least a few composers whose music is not really to my taste at all. Finally, the order in which they appear has no significance whatsoever...

From which composer would you most like to hear a new opera?

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6 comments:

Henry Holland said...

Normally, I'd have voted Birtwistle or Saariaho, but I went for Boulez. I don't think it will ever happen and that's a shame, though I can't tell if the rumors of a Waiting for Godot opera are a) true or b) an in-joke.

Anonymous said...

Thought I should add: if Goehr hadn't just delivered a richly rewarding opera (Promised End), I might have voted for him. (I went for Ferneyhough, mainly based on having enjoyed the semi-staged version of his Walter Benjamin piece a few years ago.)

Anonymous said...

I agree, Ferneyhough just composed one, so he might not be too enthusiastic about writing one more already.

Mark Berry said...

I suppose the good - or pointless, according to taste - thing about this is that we don't need to have any regard to mundane realities. However unlikely Boulez or whoever else might be to do so, we can still vote for that composer, though it probably, as here, makes us reflect upon the probabilities...

By the way, I agree about Promised End. As usual, most journalists simply didn't have a clue, but it was a very fine work indeed - and an heroic triumph for English Touring Opera.

Anonymous said...

It was hard for me to choose between Sciarrino and Boulez, but I went for Boulez to be considerate about the audience's mental health. (Also I've heard more Boulez than Sciarrino.) Maybe I should've gone for Sciarrino as I feel he deserves more votes? It was also surprising that Rihm and Chin got quite low votes...

Buckminster Crowley said...

I would hope that any such work would be recorded on the Fleur de Son label.