Both Deidamia and La Perichole deal with large political forces that, like a tsunami, overtake people unable to defend themselves.
by Handel | Netherlands National Opera 2012
Director, David Alden
Costumes, Constance Hoffman
Lighting, Adam Silverman
Deidamia is in turns witty, philosophical and dark ending in what we know will be tragedy. Achilles, disguised as a girl, is hidden by his father amongst the daughters of a neighboring King. An oracle has said Achilles would be the great hero of the Trojan War but die in the process. Ulysses tracks him down, seducing him with a shield and sword, breaking the heart of Deidamia who marries him before going off to his fate. Written for an audience that would have known the story of Achilles and Ulysses the event would have had especial poignancy as the end was known from the beginning. The music expresses the sunny clear skies of a Greek island at peace that segues into an atmosphere of cynical deception and foggy ambiguous morality.
by Offenbach | New York City Opera 2013
Director, Christopher Alden
Costumes, Gabriel Berry
Lighting, Aaron Black
La Perichole, on the other hand, is a blatantly vulgar satire of a world where political power runs amok. It describes a hot fetid enclosed society of abused and abusing people being terrorized by a madman. The music is full of scorn, hysteria, and ennui as well as romance and optimism.