Review: BMOP takes on Wuorinen’s “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”

Posted on: January 25, 2019

“Charles Wuorinen has had a good amount of practice dealing in the rather strange paradox of being a serialist opera composer,” writes Arturo Fernandez in his review of Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s January 19 concert performance of Wuorinen’s 2005 Haroun and the Sea of Stories in Sunday’s (1/20) Schmopera.com. “Haroun, based on the children’s book by Salman Rushdie, is a very surreal story … essentially what you would get if Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland had been written as a modern-day fairy tale that is aware it’s a fairy tale…. Haroun gives Wuorinen room to go all out musically… Such a monumental score … is difficult to perform…. There were multiple times throughout the running time where I just wound up staring at Maestro Gil Rose’s hands in wonder as he navigated the work’s many weird, tricky changes of time signature … Opera is something that BMOP rarely delves into…. The orchestral playing was top-notch, in a way that it stayed out of the way of the singers while bringing Wuorinen’s vivid, intense orchestrations to life….  It was thrilling, it was dramatic, and it did not fail to address the book’s political undertones.”

Posted January 25, 2019