A QUEER OPERATIC TRIANGLE IN A TORONTO HOTEL
A Synonym for Love highlights the timeless mystery of romance
|Emily Atkinson (Theresa) Photo John Lauener|
Although the score occasionally mirrors the rustic nature of the original libretto, with woodwinds delivering brooks, birds and rustling foliage, [Ashiq] Aziz will show how Handel's music acquires a whole different life in this urban and present-day setting. "Deborah's libretto is fully independent from the Clori, Tirsi e Fileno text. And today's audience won't automatically think of a bird when they hear a recorder - those associations have not survived." Some of the almost onomatopoeic sections like the early Nightingale aria remain the same musically, but "will mean in this context something very different."
The program notes describe Tirsi/Theresa, the lesbian lover, as a firebrand, a sure sign that Tirsi's original mad passionate arias will remain equally madly passionate. In many ways Pearson's libretto is very much the Toronto of today, not the least thanks to the pan-sexual love intrigue with a same-sex couple at its centre.
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