Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Versus "New"

In a way, I could not be more thrilled about the upcoming season of New York City Opera (after it's year-long intermission) because many of my favorite pieces are being performed. Operas by Stravinsky, Janaceck, Debussy, Britten, and Messaien's massive St. Francis undertaking are all personal touchstones. But the slant given to the lineup in the Times makes me a little uneasy, especially the part where Reich's music is being "considered" for a concert performance alongside some Messaien and Britten in order to "prepare" New York for what lies ahead. Now, lest I seem like just another composer with a blog ranting about just another incident of something 30-50 years old being passed off as "new," I have to say that City Opera, in my short experience with it, has been pretty good about promoting new pieces, by which I mean actually truly new. And to look at their program forthcoming, whose only entry by a living composer appears to be Einstein on the Beach (for which I cannot wait, honestly), I worry about this whole idea of what is "new." I mean, City Opera has presented pieces by Wuronen, Adamo, Heggie, Bennet, Tan Dun, Levy, Torke, Beaser, Dratell, etc. So what makes this season especially adventurous, other than it lacks an abundance of chestnuts?

I know these are complicated decisions, and that it is easy for us bloggers on the ground to play Monday Morning Quarterback with these complicated trends; and I say it again, I am eager to see all of the pieces promised by Mortier in his first term (and even eager to see the small concerts built to tide us over) and I think it is going to be exciting and smashing, everything good. But new...?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read Bernice Johnson Reagon is writing a new opera for next season

9:53 AM  

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