This is a major production, with music composed by Howard Shore, who scored Lord of the Rings, libretto by David Henry Hwang, who won a Tony for his play M. Butterfly, conducted by Plácido Domingo, and directed by David Cronenberg, director of the 1986 movie version of The Fly. The opera retains the classic horror story of the original movie: a scientist decides to test a teleportation device on himself, but a fly is inadvertently trapped in the machine with him. The result is a monster created from the fusion of man and fly.
The opera premiered at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in July, to mixed reviews:
Eric Dahan of Libération said Mr. Shore had “perhaps overestimated his ability to write a lyric work,” while Christian Merlin wrote in Le Figaro that the production “confirmed that cinema and theater, above all opera, are two very different arts.”Even if it doesn't live up to the best of theater or cinema, this "engrossing exploration of the physical and psychological transformation" would make for an interesting night at the opera.
In Le Monde, while praising the soloists, Renaud Machart described Mr. Shore’s score as that of “a moderately gifted pupil of Arnold Schoenberg.” He also lamented, somewhat oddly, that the movie’s gory close-ups of decomposing flesh could not be reproduced on stage.
Watch the show's podcast to learn more about the sound and look of the program.
Tags:The Fly, opera