“Acquanetta”

This promises excellent high concept, an opera on the life and times of a 1940s B-movie actress; libretto is aphoristic and tight, maybe too tight but we’ll see . . . if Oceanic Verses made a claim to portray multifaceted womanhood, here’s an actual facet . . . queasy, drifting strings over phased electric guitar ostinato, Gordon writes punk music for the orchestra, thank goodness, three women singing on top, idiomatic vocal lines over this music, threatening and exciting, very effective . . . like a B movie about a nightmare coming to life, loving this so far . . . low strings join in now, bottom end adding lots of emotional resonance . . . that was Scene 9, love to hear what came before! Scene 11, nice combination of Gordon’s own style with clichés of B horror movie music, here you want such a thing because it is part of the story he is telling, clichés should be kept safe and used only in appropriate circumstances! [Battery may not last to end of piece, I will have posted then continue with Twitter feed] . . . Gordon’s style is repetitive, hypnotically so, he’s witty in this, but not arch or ironic, he enjoys the story and the material, he’s not mocking something easily mocked, he’s fundamentally sympathetic to his leading lady, his Diva . . . would like to see this on stage, the music is strong and it’s the kind of subject that a director and designer would have great fun with. Characters singing to each other in short, repeated texts, something out of Glass or Meredith Monk, it really works in something that can be stylized, and certainly this is a subject for that. Acquanetta hints at unsuspected depths . . . [posting now with some few minutes left in performance, before reserve power runs out].

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