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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: August ::
Ades' "The Tempest"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0711  Thursday, 3 August 2006

From: 		Mary Haraden <
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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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