Magazine article Gramophone

Ruders: The Thirteenth Child

Magazine article Gramophone

Ruders: The Thirteenth Child

Article excerpt

Ruders The Thirteenth Child Sarah Shafer sop                  Princess Lyra Tamara Mumford mez               Queen Gertrude Ashraf Sewailam bass-bar                 Drokan Matt Boehler bass                   King Kjarne Alasdair Kent ten          Prince Frederic/Toke David Portillo ten                     Benjamin Alex Rosen bass                          Corbin 

Bridge Academy Singers; Odense Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Shwartz, David Starobin Bridge (F) BRIDGE9527 (78' * DDD) Includes synopsis and libretto

The Thirteenth Child (2016) is Poul Ruders's fifth opera and the third issued on disc. After The Handmaid's Tale (1998; 3/01), based on Margaret Atwood's celebrated, recently televised novel, and the unsettling Kafka's Trial (2005; 6/06), The Thirteenth Child is lighter in tone and constructed on a smaller scale than either. Its recording history is also more convoluted, recorded in advance of the premiere production in Santa Fe (the third performance of which was interrupted by a lightning storm!) and assembled in stages. Act 1 was recorded in Odense in September 2016, conducted by Benjamin Shwartz, but he had to withdraw at the last moment from Act 2 when his wife went into labour. David Starobin (the founder of Bridge Records and co-librettist with his wife, Becky) took over as the conductor and the recording was completed in December 2018. The whole musical fabric has been knitted together very nicely indeed and this fine recording does not betray its longer-than-usual genesis. …

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