Roger Waters Opera to Premiere in Rome on November 17

Classic Arts News   Roger Waters Opera to Premiere in Rome on November 17
ê_a Ira, the new opera by rock musician Roger Waters, will be performed live for the first time at the Santa Cecilia Auditorium in Rome on November 17, the Italian news agency ANSA reports.

The world-premiere performance will feature the Rome Symphony and its chorus. Waters may be the conductor.

ê_a Ira is set during early years of the French revolution; characters include Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and Marie Marianne—"the Voice of Liberty, Reason, and the Republic." It uses a circus as "a central theatrical framing device and metaphor," according to a statement released earlier this year.

The libretto was first written, in French, by songwriter Etienne Roda-Gil and his wife Nadine to mark the bicentennial of the revolution in 1989. Waters began work on a score at the time, but stopped when Nadine Roda-Gil died of leukemia. In 1997, he took up the project again and completed an English translation.

"Although it's rooted in the history of the revolution, its philosophical slant is, I suppose, contemporary as well," Waters said. "It's more than just a history of the French Revolution, it's a piece about the human potential for change."

Waters was a founder of the band Pink Floyd, with which he helped create the "rock opera" The Wall, among other bestselling albums.

Sony BMG will release a double-CD recording of the opera featuring baritone Bryn Terfel on September 27.

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