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Edmond J. Safra Hall

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

January 31, 2022

While Gordon has said in interviews that his model for the music was Puccini, in fact, the atonal orchestral score sounds more like operas by Gian Carlo Menotti, Carlisle Floyd and Dominick Argento. The singers are usually so loud that they tend to drown out the orchestra which is playing something different than the vocal score. Placed on the far right of the stage, the orchestra plays to the side wall muffling the sound. The orchestral score suggests background music for a film rather than music for the opera house. On paper, Korie’s text reads fairly well; however, in performance the singers are punching his rhymed couplets so hard that they seem a mistaken intrusion. At almost three hours, "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" feels overwritten though episodes have been left out of the original novel. In the libretto provided to the press in advance, Alberto’s story deviates from that of the novel, but on opening night this was changed back to the book’s ending. [more]