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Friday, 10 October 2008

"The music has a duty to be contemporary"

Sophocles via Heaney via Walcott and Le Gendre: the operatic version of Burial at Thebes opens tomorrow in London. The Wall Street Journal publishes an interview (by Paul Levy) with director Derek Walcott, and the Telegraph's Ivan Hewett sits in on a rehearsal. After two performances in London, Burial at Thebes moves on to Liverpool and Oxford. (Any Antilles readers planning to see it?)

From Hewett's piece:

How does [Walcott] feel about venturing into opera? "Totally inadequate," he says matter-of-factly, "because I've never been much attracted by opera. The attraction for me here was Seamus's text. What I appreciate about Heaney is his combination of down-to-earth speech with high rhetoric.

"The music has a duty to be contemporary, as does the drama. That's the best way we can honour this myth and Heaney's wonderful text."

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