Artist Insights: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Matthew Curran, Bass

Matthew Curran, Bass

How do you think Lowell Liebermann’s compositional style suits the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray?

“Incredibly well.  From the very start of the opening orchestral section, the atmosphere is rich, thick, vibrant, and perhaps a bit mysterious or magical.  It also brings to my mind visions of Victorian England as so beautifully and vividly impressed up on me by the British TV series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from the late 1980s and early 90s starring Jeremy Brett.  For me, that is the definitive Sherlock and presentation of his story all around.  Dated as it may be, I always loved seeing the opening sequence with the credits that shows scenes of the bustling city life of the day, proper and polished, yet fast moving and exciting, and then brings you inside to see Sherlock in his home, so beautifully setting up the start of an episode.  (Here is a link to that opening.)  Lowell’s music from the opening of the opera could easily replace the soundtrack of that opening sequence in the TV show.  It likewise sets the tone of the refined yet exciting atmosphere of the times, but then brings us immediately inside the home of Basil Hallward with his visitor Lord Henry Wotton and the introduction of the painting, followed soon by the entrance of Dorian.  So affective and efficient a launch for the opera.”

Join us on November 18 at 8 PM in Jordan Hall.  Matthew Curran is Basil Hallward.  Hear for yourself this rich, evocative setting of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale.

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