Thomas Adès

The Tempest - 2003

Opera In Three Acts

Commissioned by the Royal Opera House

Clip

Instrumentation

3(II & III=picc.).3 (III=ca).3 (I&II=Bb, III in A=bcl).3 (III=cbsn) - 4.3.3 (III=btrbn).1 - timp - perc (2 or 3) - upright pno - harp (act 3 only) - strings (some basses with extensions to B)

Programme Notes

The opera The Tempest is inspired by Shakespeare’s play, rather than literally being based on every aspect of it. There are key images from the play as well as new material. From among the play’s many themes and possible interpretations, the opera focusses on the difficulty, and the necessity, of mercy. The libretto uses contemporary vocabulary. Its lines are short, rhythmic and rhymed or semi-rhymed, echoing Shakespeare’s strophic songs more than his blank verse. This choice reflects the play’s magical, ritual, childlike elements, and acknowledges the traditional power of incantation in song. The operatic Prospero is the passionately vengeful man seen in the play, more than the wise disconnected actor also seen there. Despite his near-omnipotence, he finds things out as he goes along, and experiences contradictory emotions to the end.

(Meredith Oakes)

Recordings

Past Performances

  • February 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18 2004
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom
    Royal Opera, Covent Garden
  • February 20 2004
    Royal Opera House, London, United Kingdom
    The Royal Opera
  • March 12 2007
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom
    The Royal Opera
  • March 17, 20, 23 & 26 2007
    Royal Opera House, London, United Kingdom
    The Royal Opera
  • June 25 2007
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Philharmonia Orchestra, The Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra, soloists
  • April 22 2008
    National Opera Studio, London, United Kingdom
    National Opera Studio
  • May 16 2009
    Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Groot Omroepkoor, Markus Stenz, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
  • July 3 2009
    Benedict Music Tent, Aspen, USA
    Aspen Music Festival & School, Nic McGegan
  • November 28 2009
    St John's, Smith Square, London, United Kingdom
    Fulham Symphony Orchestra, Marc Dooley
  • March 12 2010
    Theater Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany
    Philipe Bach, Reto Nickler
  • March 21 & 26, April 11 & 21, May 6 & 29 2010
    Theater Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany
    Philipe Bach, Reto Nickler
  • November 30 2010
    National Opera Studio, London, United Kingdom
    National Opera Studio
  • July 26 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Quebec Opera
  • July 26 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Quebec Opera
  • July 28 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Quebec Opera
  • July 28 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Quebec Opera
  • July 30 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Quebec Opera
  • July 30 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Quebec Opera
  • August 1 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Quebec Opera
  • August 1 2012
    Louis-Fréchette Hall, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Canada
    Quebec Opera
  • October 23, 27 & 31, November 3, 6, 10, 14 & 17 2012
    The Metropolitan Opera, New York, USA
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Simon Keenlyside (Prospero), Iestyn Davies (Trinculo), Audrey Elizabeth Luna (Ariel), Alek Shrader (Ferdinand), Alan Oke (Caliban), William Burden (King of Naples), Toby Spence (Antonio), Robert Lepage (Production), Jasmine Catudal (Set Designer), Kym Barrett (Costume Designer), Michel Beaulieu (Lighting Designer), David Leclerc (Video Designer)
  • November 18 2012
    Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York City, USA
    Metropolitan Opera
  • December 11 & 29 2012
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Metropolitan Opera
  • January 11, 18 & 24, February 1 & 7 2014
    Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Oper Frankfurt, Sian Edwards

© Thomas Adès 2014