The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0711 Thursday, 3 August 2006
Date: Wednesday, 2 Aug 2006 10:05:21 -0500
Subject: Ades' "The Tempest"
I just read the archived review of Thomas Ades' adaptation of "The
Tempest" to opera format. I agree with your assessment totally -- the
opera was extremely disappointing. It was disappointing to me both as a
lover of Shakespeare, and as a music lover. I was struck by how
radically the opera altered the character of Prospero. Shakespeare's
Prospero is gracious, wise and forgiving. The Prospero in Ades' opera
was peevish, angry and vindictive. This one radical change in
Prospero's character changed all the relationships; Miranda feared and
distrusted her father; Ferdinand was abused by Prospero simply because
he was Alonso's son. And Caliban didn't seem totally mistaken in his
resentment of the operatic Prospero, for taking his island. As a music
lover (able to appreciate much late 20th century music) I heard almost
nothing beautiful in Ades' opera. Perhaps the one exception was Ariel's
aria in which he/she blessed the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand.
I heard the July 29 performance in Santa Fe.
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