The breathtaking opera by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo combines the stories 'The Bacchae' and 'Dracula'
Mei-Ann Chen conducts the NY premiere of Adamo's concerto, featuring soloist Jeffrey Zeigler
This concert seeks to raise significant funds to benefit Ukrainian charities
Opera Holland Park Announces UK Premiere of Little Women
Chicago Opera Theater Announces Performances of 'Becoming Santa Claus'
The New Century Chamber Orchestra will give the world premiere in San Francisco on November 4-7
Mark Adamo and John Corigliano reveal their inspiration and creative process behind "The Lord of Cries."
This will be the first film made of Adamo's opera "Lysistrata," set to premiere in October 31, 2021.
"A substantial musico-dramatic journey…John Corigliano’s sure dramatist’s hand is at work here; The Lord of Cries is full of violent contrasts, out-of-left-field sound imagination (horns in aggressive, extreme registers, a loitering harpsichord) with elemental forces juxtaposed against bourgeois life in ways that make the latter seem all the more trivial…. A Pulitzer, Grammy and Oscar winner, Corigliano is now 85, and one feels lucky that he has returned to opera at the height of his powers."
"Regardless, the story has drawn out some of the best music Corigliano has ever written, while Mark Adamo’s libretto... is, overall, well-judged and articulate."
"...the story is elevated by Adamo’s contributions. His libretto is a masterpiece of precision and psychological understanding: not a single word is wasted; and every one he uses is the right one for the character in that moment."
"In both book and opera, this is a coming of age work, but there is no doubt that the opera gives Louisa May Alcott’s book more gravitas... The libretto was clever, both witty and moving. Meanwhile, Adamo’s music was lyrical and reenforced the drama playing out on stage without drawing attention to itself. A memorable production – one which will appeal to wider audiences."
“A welcome outing at Opera Holland Park…Adamo made the skillful distillation of Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved novel himself. Sensibly not trying to fit in too much of the story, it gives space to Jo’s emotions, especially her sense of loss as the childhood idyll of the four sisters breaks up. This is where his music is able to flower, contrasting the homely contentment of an apple-pie childhood with the bittersweet pain of memory… The UK music colleges should give Little Women a look. It would be ideal for them.”
“Treat yourself to Little Women at Opera Holland Park. Adamo’s libretto is smart, his music is accomplished and thoughtful, and its UK premiere features lovely vocal performances in an effective staging by Ella Marchment, while conductor Sian Edwards’s musicality brings out the best from the City of London Sinfonia.”
“A magnificent piece of drama… The libretto is packed with intelligent cross-references and telling one-liners…and Adamo’s music is incredibly effective at setting the right tone for the scene that it accompanies, always imparting the right emotion for the people and events you’re watching. By its end, I felt that my understanding of people and life and love had been enhanced, which is a rare thing for an opera…Why has it taken nearly a quarter of a century to reach the UK? On the basis of this production, I cannot imagine.”
"Delightful, albeit unusual, holiday fare... "Becoming Santa Claus'" complex score and clever libretto (with a plot just begging for a Pixar adaptation) were both written by Adamo; though the subject matter is child-centric, Adamo’s dense and vocally challenging score is anything but."
“The libretto is by Mark Adamo, Corigliano’s husband, who is himself an opera composer of considerable accomplishment... Adamo’s double-layered conceit is a good match for Corigliano’s aesthetic, which thrives on the collision of disparate spheres.”
“The opera cleverly combines Euripides’ Bacchae with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If that sounds like solely an intellectual exercise, it actually works well.”
“Mark Adamo mines a hitherto academic stance connecting the ancient Greek god of wine to the most penetrating supernatural creature born from the fertile end-of-century Gothic imagination, and presents a libretto grounded in poetic repetition.”
“The Lord of Cries is challenging stuff—a complete theatrical immersion … Contemporary politics and even the world of pandemic we have been living through all seem relevant to one of the basic ideas of the opera—fear of the ‘other.’”
“Even when dizzyingly difficult, the angular vocal lines are singable and memorable—the hallmarks of effective opera whether composed by Mozart, Verdi, Gounod, Wagner, or Adamo.”
“...delivering more genuine laughs than just about any comic opera since Gianni Schicchi...His amusing, slang-strewn libretto uses the Aristophanes original only as a point of departure.”
“It’s merry, it’s bright, and, in the best possible, most imaginative ways, it is very, very Adamo...Claus’s magical childhood kingdom sparkles with mystery thanks to inventive orchestration.”
“Adamo creates a completely new legend for his Santa Claus and sets a Pixar-esque opera with an explosion of kaleidoscopic music.”
“The resulting work is not a “children’s opera”, but a musically sophisticated fantasy, that explores a 13-year old boy’s psyche.”
“...Adamo’s opera, which aims to reconcile sexuality with a Christian life, and which argues for a woman’s right to possess a physical identity without abandoning spirituality, could not have found a more appropriate home than the San Francisco Opera.”
“By emphasizing the humanity of its characters – disregarding Christian dogma and supernatural dissonances (virgin birth, miracles, resurrection) – Adamo has located the story’s more universal aspects and created a compelling, dramatic journey.”
“Mr. Adamo knows how to set English so that the words come through clearly when sung, a technique that too many opera composers struggle with.”
“Adamo has the ingenious knack for creating memorable themes whose recurrences serve as signposts for the drama, and his vocal writing is both urgent and shapely.”
Italian/American composer and librettist Mark Adamo has just enjoyed the UK premiere of his opera, “Little Women” at Opera Holland Park. Although written in 1998, it has taken 24 years to be performed on British soil and was warmly received throughout.
The piece was world premiered with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler
‘Becoming Santa Claus’ composer aims to entertain both children and adults, Pixar style.
Through a haunting musical dialogue with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Adamo asks us to consider what it means for something baked so deeply into our evolutionary subconscious to be permanently altered.
In “The Lord of Cries,” the composer has boldly returned to a form that he set aside in the early nineties.
From Page-To-Stage looks at the creative forces involved with bringing to life the Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere of "The Lord of Cries." In this episode, John Corigliano and Mark Adamo reveal their inspiration and creative process.
Interview about collaborating with John Corgliano, writing the libretto, the premiere of “The Lord of Cries” at the Santa Fe Opera.
The composers discuss drawing on Dracula and The Bacchae for The Lord of Cries — and collaborating as a married couple
Best known for his acclaimed operatic adaptations of Little Women and Lysistrata, Adamo's latest is Becoming Santa Claus, a family-friendly Christmas work produced by Dallas Opera.