MN Opera: Hamlet
Those who lament Hollywood's tendency to remake preexisting works should take heart in the knowledge that adaptations have a long history across art forms. In exceptional instances, the uniqueness of the adaptation can even distinguish the work from the source material. Such is the case for French composer Ambroise Thomas's 1868 re-imagining of Shakespeare's Hamlet as a sweeping opera seeped in lush Romanticism. By simplifying the narrative while simultaneously emphasizing the feverish emotional bonds linking the four central figures, Thomas created a suitably grandiose opera without sacrificing the restless spirit of the Bard's original masterwork. Of course, English audiences of the day were none too pleased with Thomas's alterations, especially his radically different conclusion. Heeding the critics, Thomas drafted an alternate ending more in line with the stage tragedy. Known as the Covent Garden ending, this variation is just one anticipated feature of the Minnesota Opera's latest production. Transforming the Danish setting into a totalitarian regime, director/designer Thaddeus Strassberger pairs the pursuit of vengeance with a breakdown of social order. Making their Minnesota Opera debuts are the renowned talents of Brian Mulligan in the title role, Katharine Goeldner as Gertrude, Wayne Tigges as Claudius, and soprano Marie-Eve Munger in the work's most stirring role as the doomed Ophélie. Conducted by Christopher Franklin, the Minnesota Opera's Hamlet looks to revive a timeless tragedy with exhilarating melodies. For tickets and info call 612.333.6669 or visit www.mnopera.org. (Photo by Aleutian Calabay)
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 10, 2 p.m. Starts: March 2. Continues through March 9, 2013
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