Sunday, November 03, 2019

Sunday, November 03, 2019 12:30 am by Cristina in , ,    No comments
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A new CD release with the first recording of Louis Karchin's Jane Eyre opera:
Jane Eyre
Music: Louis Karchin
Lyricist: Diane Olsen
Orchestra of the League of Composers
Conductor: Louis Karchin
Naxos Records
Release Date: 08/2019

Over four decades the American composer Louis Karchin has produced a much-admired portfolio of compositions. His one-act opera Romulus (8.669030) won numerous accolades. Jane Eyre is his largest project to date, in which he and librettist Diane Osen fashion Charlotte Brontë’s beloved novel into a vivid and moving opera cast as a fluid and continuous entity. Karchin’s wide-ranging harmonic language and his flair for contrast ensure that the novel’s drama, its pastoral elements, and most importantly its characterization are fully developed via arias, monologues, ariosi and a quartet, to create a boldly engaging new work.
Gramophone publishes a review:
Karchin and Osen hewed closely to the nature of Brontë’s writing: the score is emotionally intense down to the smallest details, so the extravagant behaviour of the characters seems reasonable. The resulting fierce narrative ignites larger-than-life theatrical outbursts that are perfect for arias and ensemble pieces, brilliantly aided and abetted by the virtuoso Orchestra of the League of Composers. From the opening strains of melody, when chiaroscuro colours anticipate this will be a moody, highly inventive score, there is no abating in the energy, just like the novel.
Jennifer Zetlan as Jane has the greatest music and sings it triumphantly; her biographical aria leading to ‘A governess in this great house’ is simply glorious and charged with chemistry. Ryan MacPherson fills out Rochester’s personality thrillingly, and shows versatility as the creepily insinuating fortune teller.
Karchin’s charming musical candy box includes a broad range of influences from Bruckner to Tchaikovsky, including the highly entertaining use of excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor. The English libretto is effectively compacted but occasionally lends the enterprise a Gilbert & Sullivan swagger. (Laurence Vittes)

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