The Omega Ensemble are Sydney’s Chamber music all-stars. In July, the group will feature in a world premiere. Young composer, Nico Muhly has composed, American Masters, especially for this troupe. The work looks poised to draw heavily on his inspirations like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. The Ensemble held a fundraiser for this new work with a screening of Muhly’s Met Opera, Marnie, at the Dendy cinemas. We describe the five things we learned from this screening.
1. The opera, Marnie, is an adaption of Winston Graham’s novel. It was previously adapted for the silver screen by Alfred Hitchcock. Put simply, the story is a sexy thriller.
2. The eponymous protagonist (played here by mezzo soprano, Isabel Leonard) is a quintessential, Hitchcock blonde. Marnie is a mysterious, young woman who assumes multiple identities in order to steal from her employers. Problems arise though, when the hustler becomes the hustled.
3. This opera feels more like a modern, stage show. The proceedings were very fast-paced and theatrical. It also features contemporary staging, which meant that there was never a dull moment.
4. The opera includes a group of women dubbed the “Marnettes” supporting the soloist. These are variations of the titular character’s fractured self. These create a dramatic menace and this darkness underscores the proceedings.
5. The music was absolutely stunning. Brimming with gothic goodness, Muhly does a fabulous job creating vivid moods and building anticipation for this exhilarating story. Muhly’s work has wide appeal and should please both opera buffs and theatre fans alike.
The world premiere of Nico Muhly’s American Masters is at Sydney’s Recital Hall on July 2. For more information head HERE.