English National Opera to Premiere Work Based on Fassbinder's Film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Evening Standard [London]
By Ed Harris
A new work featuring lesbian love, passion and jealousy with an all-female cast will mark the opening of English National Opera's new season [2005ñ2006].
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant will be staged next September and is being finished by Ireland's most noted composer, Gerald Barry. The work is based on the play of the same name by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, which the German writer and director made into a film in 1972.
"By putting this work at the head of the season we want to make a bold statement and a rallying cry to our audience," said Se·n Doran, artistic director and chief executive of ENO. The opera will mark the first season to be fully programmed by Doran.
The work is the story of a successful but arrogant fashion director, Petra von Kant, who mistreats Marlene, her secretary, maid, and co-designer. She asks a young woman, Katrin, to model for her, but then falls in love with her and invites her to move in.
The play deals with the twisted and sadistic emotions of the affair and its aftermath.
"The Bitter Tears Of Petra von Kant is a love story: ecstatic, moving, gripping, obsessive, funny, heartbreaking, filled with tenderness, hatred, jealousy, compassion," said Mr. Barry.
The second new work in the season will be a commission from Asian Dub Foundation, the London-based rap group. "There's a contrast and complementarity to the two pieces, of the sort that may be played out in future seasons," he said.
(C) 2004 Evening Standard - London. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved