Why more of "The Fly"
You might well ask that question and the answer would be "We are working on an opera and interested in understanding what works and what doesn't in the modern sense of opera." Since the recent opening of "La Mouche" (the Fly) in Paris I have been intrigued by what the response is - particularly in terms of music with the score by Howard Shore (of Lord of the Rings fame).
Le Monde wrote the following (translated by Google): The music "Essentially atonal but occasionally sentimental, talkative but static, this music could have played to forge codes soundtracks of science fiction and horror of the 1950's but it prefers to remain in the respectable. And, as often, respectable bored."
Eric Dahan of Libération said Mr. Shore had “perhaps overestimated his ability to write a lyric work (as quoted in the New York Times). Plácido Domingo conducted the orchestra and involved in the production said, "There are very moving moments, very melodic moments. But as the narrative advances, the orchestration becomes harder. Had he done it another way, it would not have worked."
Obviously the story in this opera is important (as it is in "It Must Be Fate" - the opera we are working on). While it seems this production is going to be successful, it seems as if the music has missed the mark, not quite lived up to all it could be. Then again, we should remember that Stravinsky started a riot at the opening of his ballet Le Sacre du printemps("The Rite of Spring") when it opened in Paris. So Paris criticism of music isn't always a sign of something bad.
Unfortunately for Shore, Manuel Brug writing in Die Welt was also not kind to the music.
"It Must Be Fate" is taking a different direction in terms of music. Rather than presenting something that might make Arnold Schoenburg proud (as one reviewer remarked of Shores score), we are trying to incorporate more modern/pop forms of music. The reviewer of our preview performance remarked we couldn't decide between "Tommy" or "Tosca" and that is exactly where we want to be... a blending which brings the two worlds together.
Are we successful? Well, we're not done yet - but we think we're closer than Howard Shore to finding the right music for the occasion. Now all we need is a few big names to want to open it in Paris (or London or New York... or Edinburgh).