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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