The Case for The Aspern Papers

by Suzanne Calvin

You get an analysis, as well as a sterling review, from Classical Music Critic Anne Midgette of “The Washington Post” in this piece on the Dallas Opera’s current production of Dominick Argento’s 1988 opera, THE ASPERN PAPERS, based on a novella by Henry James. Ms. Midgette writes: “This score offers music of nostalgia: lush outbursts from the orchestra; achingly beautiful, fragile vocal lines that duck away into obscurity; ensembles in which the voices are mere shadows of the orchestra’s music; an offstage chorus’s sustained quiet chords, shining like a glass harmonica.”

Enjoy Anne Midgette’s entire review right here:

UPDATE: And this just in (a tad closer to home), the review from another award-winning arts writer, “Sulphur Springs News-Telegram” Arts Editor Terry Mathews who took in THE ASPERN PAPERS last weekend and writes: “What drives this time-traveling plot from 1835 to 1885 time and again are the marvelous performances by the cast. Each voice finds its perfect place, supporting or soaring, seemingly at will.  Deshorties provides plenty of heat as a woman scorned and driven over the edge by her lover’s betrayal. Her mad scene rivals any in operatic reportoire.  Gunn’s take on the stranger was perfectly nuanced and included both sides of the character – opportunist and sad observer to the unfolding tragedy of his idol, the composer Aspern.   Graham squeezes every inch of loneliness and melancholy from  Tina, the aging spinster forced to barter with the stranger for his affection. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and when the handsome American arrives, Tina sees an escape route from her dreary life in a ruined mansion.”  Get Terry Mathew’s complete review right here.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media and PR

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