Grendel Opens After Delay Forced by Technical Problem

Classic Arts News   Grendel Opens After Delay Forced by Technical Problem
The much-anticipated world-premiere production of Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor's Grendel will open at Los Angeles Opera tonight, nearly two weeks after a technical problem forced the cancellation of the original opening night.

The company canceled the May 27 performance after a central piece of George Tsypin's set, a moving platform that holds up to 15 performers, was damaged on May 23. Mechanisms controlling the platform, which used a phalanx of motors to move vertically and horizontally and to pivot, broke because of a computer malfunction.

The company has staged two preview performances since, on June 1 and 3, and a spokesperson said yesterday that they had gone well.

Grendel, which is based on the novel by John Gardner, retells the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster. Music is by Goldenthal; the libretto is by Taymor and poet J. D. McClatchy. The cast includes bass Eric Owens as Grendel, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as the Dragon, soprano Laura Claycomb as the Queen, tenor Jay Hunter Morris as the warrior Unferth, and tenor Richard Craft as the Blind Harpist. Steven Sloane and Lionel Friend will conduct.

After its run in Los Angeles, the production moves to New York, where it will be seen at the Lincoln Center Festival July 11-16.

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