New York City Opera revived the Glimmerglass production of Richard Rodney Bennett's opera The Mines of Sulphur, which premiered on October 23 and runs until November 5. The first article I read was by Anthony Tommasini (A Composer Happily Returns to 'The Mines', October 21) for the New York Times:
But with such a great initial run over all, why did the international opera world appear to lose sight of the work? The score's gritty atonal language may have been one factor, putting off timid companies and mainstream opera buffs. In any event, "The Mines of Sulphur" was little known when it was presented by the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., in summer 2004. Few people, including the composer, anticipated that it would be the surprise hit of that summer season. That production, directed by David Schweizer, opens at the New York City Opera on Sunday afternoon, conducted by George Manahan. (At Glimmerglass it was conducted by Stewart Robertson, a longtime champion of the work, who had heard it performed in England.)There is also a review (A Dark and Stormy Night, With Doings to Match, October 23) by Allan Kozinn for the New York Times:
Sir Richard's music is perfectly suited to Cross's story. Like many eager young composers of the mid-1960's, he adopted 12-tone techniques to create angular vocal lines and spiky textures. But he was not after harshness as such: often his vocal lines soar, and they are supported by a vivid, lush and constantly moving orchestral score that tells listeners as much about the characters - and the supernatural undercurrents - as the arias.
Daniel Felsenfeld, "The Dark, Mad Side" (Playbill Arts, October 22)
Ben Mattison, Photo Journal: The Mines of Sulphur at New York City Opera (Playbill Arts, October 25)
Martin Bernheimer, The Mines of Sulphur, New York City Opera (London Financial Times, October 26)
David Patrick Stearns, Film composer's opera gets a worthy revival (Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1)
Mr. Kellogg, 68, is in his 10th season at the opera. He will also retire next year as director of the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., which he has led since 1979. "It's been a wonderfully exciting and satisfying time, and I've had the chance to meet extraordinary people, but it's mostly a 15-hour-day, seven-days-a-week job that is probably better suited to someone 45 years old," he said in a statement released by City Opera. In an interview, Mr. Kellogg said the constant work needed to entice the young and neophytes to opera was discouraging, though also fulfilling, taking note of the popularity of the house's "Opera for All" low-cost events last week.People need to get out there and do this work.