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Grizzly Bear collaborator, Nico Muhly, pens first opera

on February 15, 2010, 2:00pm
If you are not familiar with the name Nico Muhly, chances are you are familiar with his work. Whether he is orchestrating Grizzly Bear (Veckatimest) or Antony and the Johnsons (The Crying Light), scoring films (The Reader) and TV shows (Wonder Showzen), or collaborating with unknown local artists The National (“So Far Around The Bend”) and Sufjan Stevens (Run Rabbit Run), Muhly has redefined “crossover artist” with his contributions to both the classical world and the pop/rock cannon. But even for a man who been involved with such a wide and impressive range of projects (he even spent time as an instrumentalist and conductor under Philip Glass), the word “opera” creates a whole new world of assumed ambitions and high expectations. And we are not talking about the kind opera that features the prefix “rock.” Regardless of the risk, Muhly is set to premiere his first opera on the London stage next summer.

According to TwentyFourBit, the production carries the title of Two Boys and will be directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher. The Metropolitan Opera as well as the English National Opera are on-board as co-producers and the opera reportedly features a libretto by renowned Tony/Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Craig Lucas. If you know what all this means, well, I bet you are totally pumped! And possibly lost!

As for the plot of Two Boys, Muhly has created a tale that will certainly challenge the traditional standards. The opera “tells a fictional story, (though) it is actually based on a real-life incident in which a 14-year-old boy posed as various women online in an unsuccessful attempt to lure strangers into murdering him.” I don’t know if this is as off-the-wall/awesome as The Knife’s recent endeavour into opera, but it sure is close. At least one thing is for certain early in this new decade: opera is the new black.

No word yet on tickets, but the show doesn’t see an audience until the summer of 2011, so you have time.

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