Photo Journal: A Monster Premiere in Los Angeles

Classic Arts News   Photo Journal: A Monster Premiere in Los Angeles
The world-premiere production of Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor's Grendel, a new opera based on the John Gardner novel, opened last night at Los Angeles Opera.

The opera's official opening night followed two preview performances and a delay forced by technical problems with a movable platform on which much of the action takes place.

Grendel 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; Taymor is the director. The set designer is George Tsypin. Costumes are by Constance Hoffman; lighting is by Donald Holder.

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 share the conducting duties.

Grendel will get its New York premiere on July 11 at the Lincoln Center Festival.

Photos by Robert Millard.

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