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Lynch goes to opera after all

August 31, 2003|Mark Swed

For years, impresario Gerard Mortier has been trying to drag David Lynch into opera. When Mortier was head of the Salzburg Festival, he was sure the director of "Blue Velvet" was just the guy to explore the sexually peculiar world of Alban Berg's "Lulu." More recently, Mortier, who will take over the Paris Opera in 2005, has been after Lynch to direct Jacques Offenbach's kinky "Tales of Hoffmann."

Lynch reportedly resists, saying he would feel theatrically confined by an operatic score. Now, however, the provocative avant-garde Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth has taken matters into her own hands and undertaken an opera based on Lynch's film "Lost Highway." Moreover, Neuwirth is writing her opera for soprano Constance Hauman, best known for her sultry Lulu.

Neuwirth's strange, fantastical music was introduced to Los Angeles audiences by the Viennese ensemble Klangforum Wien and its pianist, Marino Formenti. The group will also take part in the opera, which will have its premiere Oct. 31 in Graz, Austria and then move on to Theater Basel, Switzerland.

-- Mark Swed

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