Opera Review: Opera or oratorio, 'Death of Columbus' premiere is a success
Monday, January 17, 2005
By Robert Croan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When is an opera not an opera? The world premiere of Leonardo Balada's "Death of Columbus" -- performed in concert form Friday evening in Carnegie Music Hall -- raises the question. It's not just the lack of scenery, costumes and staging for this occasion, but the nature of the work itself. There was a feeling that scenery, costumes and staging might not have made much difference.
The Carnegie Mellon composition professor wrote "Death of Columbus" in the early 1990s to follow his "Christopher Columbus," which had been premiered in Barcelona in 1989. Whereas the earlier work dealt with the activity of the voyage, ending with the arrival of Columbus in the New World, the sequel places Columbus on his deathbed, and proceeds in surrealistic flashbacks that are almost entirely contemplative.
[Click here for remainder of review.]