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‘Tempest’ at Met: The magic’s in the music

October 25, 2012 • Entertainment


In this Oct. 15, 2012 photo provided by the Metropolitan Opera, Alek Shrader is Ferdinand and Isabel Leonard plays Caliban during a dress rehearsal of Thomas Adès’s “The Tempest,” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Opera, Ken Howard)

NEW YORK (AP) — O brave new opera that has such music in it!

British composer Thomas Ades has written a magical score for “The Tempest,” his setting of Shakespeare’s tale of revenge and reconciliation, as resourcefully adapted by librettist Meredith Oakes.

And it sounded glorious Tuesday night when the Metropolitan Opera presented it for the first time with a strong cast and the composer himself conducting.

Ades (pronounced AH-diss) wrote the work on commission for the Royal Opera House in London, which premiered it to acclaim in 2004. It’s a compact piece, barely two hours of music, but profoundly dense and intricate in the way it manages through shifting melody, rhythm and orchestral texture to recreate the world of the play in all its tumult and richness.

The score, by turns dissonant and lyrical, frenzied and calm, is filled with memorable passages of striking originality. Among them: the turbulent opening storm scene, when the exiled magician Login to read more

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