Wed | Aug 16, 2017

'L'Amour de Loin' at Carib 5 tomorrow

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A scene from ‘L’Amour de Loin’.
Susanna Phillips stars as Clémence, the Countess of Tripoli, in ‘L’Amour de Loin’.
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"With a top-notch all-American cast of Susanna Phillips, Tamara Mumford and Eric Owens, it is a captivating night of opera." - Huffington Post

"The visual highlight of the evening, and indeed one of the most breathtaking sequences I've ever witnessed in an opera house, is Lepage's depiction of a storm across the ocean, an ideal visual counterpart to Saariaho's lurching brass fanfares." - New York Observer

"... this vivid, enormously affecting production, conceived by Robert Lepage, is a landmark in itself, delving into the profound theatricality beyond the opera's dreamy surface."

- The Wall Street Journal

Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de Loin (Love From Afar), one of the most highly praised operas of recent years, has its Met premiere this season in a production directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Susanna Malkki in her Met debut. Lepage's staging, which uses thousands of LED lights to create the sea that separates the opera's distant lovers, is a co-production with L'Opera de Quebec, where it premiered to acclaim in the summer of 2015.

Susanna Phillips stars as Clemence, the Countess of Tripoli, opposite Eric Owens as Jaufre Rudel, a troubadour on a quest to find his perfect love, Tamara Mumford is the Pilgrim who carries messages back and forth between them.

Robert Lepage, known for directing the Met's productions of Wagner's Ring Cycle, Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust and Thomas Ades's The Tempest, leads the production team. Michael Curry is set and costume designer, Kevin Adams is lighting designer, Lionel Arnould is lightscape image designer, Mark Grey is sound designer and Sybille Wilson is assistant director.

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is widely recognised as one of the world's leading contemporary composers. L'Amour de Loin is her first opera. It features a libretto by the Lebanese novelist Amin Maalouf and premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2000. Subsequently, it has been performed at Santa Fe Opera, Paris Opera, Finnish National Opera, English National Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, among others.

Saariaho's other operas include Adriana Mater, which premiered at the Opera Bastille in 2008, and the monodrama Emilie, which premiered in Lyon in 2010. This past March, her opera Only the Sound Remains premiered at the Dutch National Opera.

The Finnish composer is also known for song-cycles, oratorios and other orchestral works. Many Saariaho works can be seen this fall in New York City, where her compositions have been or will be performed at the Park Avenue Armory, Mannes School of Music, Juilliard School, 92nd St Y and others.

Amin Maalouf, who wrote the libretto for L'Amour de Loin and is a frequent collaborator with Kaija Saariah, previously written the librettos for her oratorio La Passion de Simone and monodram Emilie, as well as Saariaho's second opera, Adriana Mater. Maalouf has written a number of fiction and non-fiction works, typically focusing on characters experiencing the limitations of places, languages and religions, as well as highlighting his experiences with civil war and migration.

His fictional works include Leo Africanus, The Gardens of Light and Balthasar's Odyssey. However, his most well-known work is the non-fiction historical essay The Crusades Through Arab Eyes.

Tomorrow, the matinee performance will be transmitted worldwide as part of the 11th season of the Met's Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 2,000 cinemas in 70 countries around the world, including Jamaica.

Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.palaceamusement.com with a Palace Card or any major credit card.