June 2, 2008

'An Inconvenient Truth' Goes Operatic

La Scala, the venerable opera house in Milan, Italy, announced last week that it would mount a production based on Davis Guggenheim's Academy Award-winning An Inconvenient Truth, by composer Giorgio Battistelli. Here's an assessment of the possibilities, from The Guardian:
http://music.guardian.co.uk/classical/story/0,,2283007,00.html.

This is not the first time that the documentary form has served as a source material for other performing art forms. Grey Gardens, the classic from the Maysles Brothers, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer and Susan Froemke, inspired both a Tony Award-winning musical and a soon-to-be released feature film. While I can't confirm that Jon Else's 1981 film The Day after Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb was the inspiration for the John Adams-Peter Sellars opera Dr. Atomic, Else's recent film, Wonders Are Many, is about the making of that opera, and clips from both docs can be seen on the Dr. Atomic website:
http://www.doctor-atomic.com/resources.html

The staging of the repercussions of global warming certainly has operatic possibilities, in the hands of the right director--Peter Sellars would certainly fit the bill--and Al Gore as prognosticator cum Cassandra would make for a compelling central character. Whether he will be composed for a tenor, heldentenor, bass or basso profundo is up for speculation.