Friday, December 02, 2005
An American Tragedy
I'm working a half day at MIT today before heading down to New York for the world premiere of Tobias Picker's opera "An American Tragedy" at the Metropolitan Opera. Picker is a gay composer who had a big success a few years ago with his opera "Emmeline" that was performed by several U.S. companies and telecast on PBS.
Poster for the Movie and Nathan Gunn, star of the opera
The opera is adapted from Theodore Dreiser's once famous novel that seems to have be something of a companion piece to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Both novels deal with the life and death of "the American dream" as it works through the lives of two young men of great promise in the 20s and 30s of the last century. Gatsby achieves immense wealth and influence only to find it empty, and dies by the hand of a man whose wife has always been an elusive ideal for him. Dreiser's hero sees the goal hanging seductively within reach but for the plain young woman without social status he has toyed with and impregnated--and whom he disposes of from a canoe on a resort hotel's lake. The story ends with his execution.
Two important movies were made of the Dreiser novel, the better known version starring the now famous pairing of Montgomery Clift and the magnificent young Elizabeth Taylor, with Shelley Winters as the home town girl. Tonight's operatic version stars the handsome Nathan Gunn whose naked torso appeared here a while back as the hero of Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd." Word leaking out of the final dress rehearsal is that the opera and the production make a very big impression.
Nathan Gunn does sound like a porn name.
And O My God could he be in porn!
Go see the entry Will's talking about - halfway down.
I'm going to the opera RIGHT NOW!