Opera is going through a rough transition, but new names are coming up, let´s take a look at them
We live in a world in which fashion is cyclical as well as cultural phenomenon. When people born in the eighties were growing up, Compact Disc was leading the market and there was nothing else, and then came MP3 and all the streaming services, but if you really like a band now, you buy a vinyl, just like old days. Same thing happens with the experiencing and the seeing, people consume entertainment from the couch at home until they become fans or see in YouTube that it´s hip, then they dress up and attend to an event. This way it´s complicated for newer artists to have people attend and pay a ticket to something they don´t know if they like yet. But with smart use of budget and scaled down productions, new voices are rising.
The New Voices
It’s true that the old masters will never be forgotten and that classic operas will continue to be reinterpreted, but the new productions are coming from all over the world.
She is an Austrian composer born in 1968 with a very strong academic formation in music developed in several countries all across Europe. She studied the German and Italian traditions and is one of the names behind the opera edition of Lost Highway, the movie by David Lynch. The staging of the opera involved classical and modern instruments as well as sound effects from the movie with a beautiful result that was acclaimed worldwide.
This Argentinian composer born in 1960 is the son of Jewish Rumanian immigrants. He grew up and studied piano in La Plata, Argentina but soon perfected his musical talent in Jerusalem and Pennsylvania where he received his doctorate. In 2007 he premiered his opera prima called Ainadamar with libretto by David Henry Hwang and received two Grammy awards the same year for the recording and the composition. He also received the Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowship Awards and the Vilcek Prize in music. On 2006 he was named composer of the year by Musical America.
This young American composer was born in 1980 and premiered her opera prima Song from the uproar in 2012 to critical acclaim. She was named by the Time Out New York as “Brooklyn´s post-Millennial Mozart”. She is a promising composer that seems to be the indicated one to take opera into the future.
The Grand Masters
My favorite authors will continue to be Maurice Ravel, closely followed by the Romantic and Verisimo Italian composers like Verdi and Puccini, but I´m aware that nostalgic listening of old times has lead opera to the small place in the music world it has now. My take on the subject is that the ones who laid the foundations for opera to exist are not to be forgotten, but those who will take the torch of the new generation are yet to come and will add elements of other disciplines as well as new ways of seeing the world. Opera is to become the music of the masses again.
These three awesome articles I stumbled upon will make the new opera landscape clearer and I would love to share them: