Personalities | Thomas Adès | Modern Era | Opera

b. 1971, British

A celebrated composer, conductor, pianist and curator, Thomas Adès has already inspired retrospectives of his work. His operas, Powder Her Face (1995) and The Tempest (2004) received critical and audience acclaim and both have entered the contemporary repertoire. Performances of The Tempest include the 2004 production at the Metropolitan Opera, directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Adès himself. The chamber opera, Powder Her Face – a tale of the scandalous behaviour Duchess of Argyll in the early 1960s – provides an excellent performance opportunity for a soprano with notable dramatic as well vocal powers.

Ades observed in an interview in 2012 that, when it comes to choosing the theme of an opera, ‘the more absurd, the more indefensible [it is], the more it makes sense. Operas that are worthily about something, some idea or ideal, and that try to make a point, especially a political point, are just absurd in an off-putting way … Music should have no excuse, other than itself.’

Recommended Recording:
The Tempest, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Thomas Adès, conductor; EMI 6952342; Soloists: Simon Keenlyside (Prospero), Kate Royal (Miranda), Toby Spence (Ferdinand), Ian Bostridge (Caliban), Cyndia Sieden (Ariel), Philip Langridge (Alonso), Donald Kaasch (Antonio), Jonathan Summers (Sebastian), David Condier (Trinculo), Stephen Richardson (Stefano), Graeme Danby (Gonzalo)

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | W.H. Auden | Modern Era | Opera
Houses & Companies | The Birth of the Metropolitan Opera | Turn of the Century | Opera


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