Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Top Tippett

ImageKing Priam (Arthaus Musik)
British composer Michael Tippett’s masterpiece is this 1962 opera based on the fall of Troy, an antecedent to classic operas by Hector Berlioz (Les Troyens) and William Walton (Troilus and Cressida). In this 1985 TV film directed by Nicholas Hytner, the story’s homoeroticism and Tippett’s starkly beautiful music are harnessed in a production that brings the mythical characters out of antiquity and gives them a contemporary feel. Several exceptional British singer-actors, such as baritone Rodney McCann as Priam, and the Kent Opera Chorus and Orchestra led by conductor Roger Norrington bring this difficult, worthwhile work into vivid relief, and Hytner’s staging is highly imaginative.

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