For opera to remain a living and breathing art form, it must not become a museum of the ancient and the old. It's imperative that new opera be written and created. Enter this week's SAATO presentation, The Tempest by English composer Thomas Adès.
First performed in 2004, The Tempest has been embraced by a number of companies since its launch. The stage direction is by Robert Lepage, same director of the Met's controversial Ring cycle.
In his early 40s, Thomas Adès can be safely called the most exciting English composer of his generation. The Tempest is his second opera; his first, Powder Her Face, is also up for a New York performance this season, but from New York City Opera.
The Tempest's main role, Prospero, was written for the English baritone Simon Keenlyside and he returns for this Metropolitan Opera performance. Here's a taste of what's to come:
Also starring is soprano Audrey Luna, whose reputation is quickly rising. She starred as Ariel in The Tempest's Quebec City performance this past summer.
And mezzo Isabel Leonard stars as Prospero's daughter, Miranda.
Here's a complete cast list:
Audrey Luna, Ariel
Isabel Leonard, Miranda
Iestyn Davies, Trinculo
Alek Shrader, Ferdinand
Alan Oke, Caliban
William Burden, King of Naples
Toby Spence, Antonio
Simon Keenlyside, Prospero
Alex Ross on The Tempest
Adès's 'The Tempest' continues its successful debut run at the Met