MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Love Save the Queen: The Ghosts of Versailles

ghosts-la

This Saturday brings the opening of Los Angeles Opera’s new production of The Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano and William Hoffman.
Here’s my essay for LA Opera’s program:

There’s an entire category of landmark operas that originally met with resistance from their own composers. Take Ariadne auf Naxos. In its first version, the work posed so many problems that a frustrated Richard Strauss shelved the project for several years. And when he was approached by director Peter Sellars with the concept for his first opera—a venture tentatively titled Nixon in China—John Adams initially kept a skeptical distance.

The inception of The Ghosts of Versailles couldn’t have offered a more encouraging set of circumstances. Desiring to present a brand-new work to celebrate its upcoming centenary season, the Metropolitan Opera was determined to pull out all the stops. What composer would not leap at the chance—especially given such a spectacular context for his debut opera?

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Filed under: American opera, essay, John Corigliano, Los Angeles Opera

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  1. […] One of the most thrilling evenings I’ve experienced in years at the opera house — at the theater in general — was last weekend’s opening night of Los Angeles Opera’s new production of The Ghosts of Versailles. […]

  2. […] Angeles Opera’s splendid new production of Ghosts, which is bringing this masterpiece to the West Coast for the first time, led the LA […]

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