LOUIS KARCHIN (b.1951): Jane Eyre.
Catalogue Number: 09V061
Description: Charlotte Bronté’s beloved, sprawling novel is skillfully compressed and adapted into operatic narrative in this approachable, tonal, neo-Romantic work (Jane's childhood is omitted, for instance; she is already a governess in Rochester's household when this version opens). The work is modeled on the conventions of grand opera, with the characters interacting through arias, monologues, ariosi and a quartet. Character development is essential to the original text, and Karchin's approach to this aspect of the work is achieved through carefully judged stylistic progression, an intricate mesh of thematic and motivic cross-referencing, and a wide-ranging and evolving harmonic language (always within the bounds of tonality). By making Rochester an opera lover, the possibility of introducing references to works of the Romantic repertory is cleverly explored, by hinting at scenes relevant to the present drama (for instance, the mad scene in Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, a composer with whose works the fictional Rochester would likely have been acquainted). Fans of modern American tonal and entirely accessible opera by composers like Carlisle Floyd, Jake Heggie, Mark Adamo, Dominick Argento or Robert Aldridge will find much to enjoy here. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Jennifer Zetlan (soprano), Ryan MacPherson (tenor), Thomas Meglioranza (baritone), Orchestra of the League of Composers; Louis Karchin.