BY Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer
The familiar favorite Hamlet is coming to Lander for the continuing Metropolitan Opera at the Lander Library Series. The paradoxical recreation of the famous play by William Shakespear, will deviate slightly, but will return from time to time as if to make sure that you don’t lose your place. Shakespeare’s unparalleled text seems to hover in the background as you find the story’s meaning for yourself.
Like the original play, which unfolds in an imprecise period in Elsinore Castle in medieval Denmark, Dean’s opera is set in an imagined Elsinore at an indeterminate date. This production, by Neil Armfield, draws upon visual motifs of the 18th and 20th centuries to create a simultaneously modern and timeless feel for the action.
You, as an audience member will find yourself captivated by the twist in character development as it seamlessly transitions back and forth between the new and the old stories.
To adapt, or not to adapt? For Australian composer Brett Dean, that was the question when considering an operatic take on Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy. “Was I daunted by Hamlet? Of course I was!” he says. “At first, I balked at it, but the more I thought about it, the more the idea gripped me. And then, in finding the ideal librettist in Matthew Jocelyn, finally I felt I had the right companion to go down that path.
Well worth the watch, you will not regret the time spent enjoying this amazing adaptation of a historical fiction of indiscriminate variation on an original theme.
Following the prince of Denmark as he plots to avenge his father’s murder, only to be imprisoned by his inability to act, Hamlet is, of course, one of the pillars of English drama.
Excerpts taken from Metopera.org