Magazine article Opera Canada

St. Louis

Magazine article Opera Canada

St. Louis

Article excerpt

Alice in Wonderland, with music by Unsuk Chin and libretto by David Henry Hwang, premiered in Munich in 2007, where director Achim Freyer's psychosexual approach reportedly did not suit Chin. At Opera Theatre of St. Louis, James Robinson's U.S. premiere was a more literal take on the book, with its series of episodes hung together not by a big concept but by a greater sense of continuity.

Chin's music is serious, but she does not yet write well for the voice (Alice is her first opera). It must have been difficult for the singers to project the words as well as they did through the angular and sometimes stratospheric vocal lines. Conductor Michael Christie guided them skillfully while bringing the reduced forces of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra securely through the icy musical territory.

The cast was uniformly excellent. Ashley Emerson was on stage virtually the entire two hours. Her Alice was a good-natured child, with a voice both clear and absolutely secure. …

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