Louis Andriessen, “La Commedia” (2008)

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“On Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 8:00 p.m., Andriessen’s extraordinary new opera La Commedia (based on Dante’s Divine Comedy) makes its New York premiere in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in a concert performance by the Asko Schoenberg ensemble…
According to the composer, ‘I see Dante’s La Commedia as one of the highest points ever reached in literature and philosophy. It combines complexity, intellectualism, horror, beauty, multi-layering, allusions, historical and mythological references, and, above all, irony. I selected sequences of material in the same order as in Dante’s book. So the first two scenes take us from the City of Dis down through Inferno to the deepest regions of hell where we meet Lucifer in the third part. This is where Adam’s Fall is described. We then pass upward through the lighter-hearted Garden of Earthly Delights until we reach Paradise in the final section, Eternal Light.’
La Commedia was premiered in June 2008 at the Holland Festival by many of the same musicians performing in the Carnegie Hall presentation.” [. . .]    —Broadway World, March 1, 2010

See also, Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, April 1, 2010

Contributed by Patrick Molloy