Review: Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera in rare Dello Joio opera about Joan of Arc

Posted on: December 7, 2017

“Odyssey Opera and Boston Modern Orchestra Project shone brightly Friday night … with the world premiere of American composer Norman Dello Joio’s opera ‘The Trial at Rouen,’ ” writes Zoë Madonna in Monday’s (12/4) Boston Globe. “Maybe it was not a world premiere in the purest sense, as over 60 years separated the NBC Opera Theatre televised broadcast premiere and Friday’s live premiere. However, the evening’s most enduring image was timeless and timely: a lone woman surrounded on all sides by hostile, powerful men, all telling her to deny her own experiences.… For the evening, founder-conductor Gil Rose united Odyssey Opera and BMOP,” with soprano Heather Buck in the title role. “The music for the movement ‘The Maid’ was passionate, and ‘The Warrior’ fierce and tense. Yet enough harmonic complexity and dashes of unpredictability kept it out of the realm of paint by numbers…. ‘The Trial at Rouen’ … zooms in on [Joan of Arc’s] final days, including her trial, interrogation, and execution…. The unfussy libretto was written by Dello Joio, including some quotes from Joan’s trial, and the music ran along its contours easily…. In this semi-staged production, it wasn’t so hard to imagine one’s self in the young woman’s boots.”

Posted December 7, 2017