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Classical Notes

Opera news

Posted at 2:21 PM on May 11, 2006 by Rex Levang

It's been a lively few months for opera hereabouts, in case you hadn't noticed. Earlier we had La Boheme, Mercadante's Orazi e Curazi, and, expanding the definition only slightly, Jeune Lune's free-wheeling treatment of Boito's Mefistofele (still running) and for Gilbert and Sullivan fans, Princess Ida.

(And that's only the Twin Cities.)

The latest entry will debut this weekend. There was a multifaceted presentation last night, where composer Laurent Petitgirard explained how he came to choose the subject of his opera. He first considered Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray and then Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but eventually rejected both and was still looking for a subject. His librettist said to him, "But don't you see? London? The 1890s? Your subject is the Elephant Man."

More from MPR's Karl Gehrke here. The Minnesota Opera's production of Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man opens Saturday at the Ordway.