Catalogue Number: 12J126

Label: Arthaus Musik

Reference: 102 105

Format: DVD

Price: $28.98

No Longer Available

Description: This is the BBC television adaptation of Greek, made soon after the opera's premiere. Using Steven Berkoff's colloquial and profanity-laced libretto, the opera updates the Œdipus myth to the grimy, working-class East End of London in the 1980s. Œdipus – 'Eddy' in Berkoff's adaptation – is reimagined as a streetwise tough; a kind of junior version of the kind of character Bob Hoskins has played in innumerable movies. The essential narrative of the story is unchanged, though simplified; plague-stricken Thebes is replaced by the volatile, class-polarizing and sometimes violent social structure of Margaret Thatcher's Britain. Turnage's music is characteristically confrontational and aggressive; the unexpected eloquence of otherwise inarticulate characters recalls Britten, but Stravinsky is a more direct influence, alongside primitive clashing and thumping - too primitive even to be directly related to the rock and jazz influences frequently adopted by Turnage. The production is similarly - literally - 'in your face', with exaggerated close-ups, filmed for maximum visceral impact in sets roughly constructed in a garbage-strewn warehouse, lending authentic grime and claustrophobia to the proceedings. The antithesis of genteel, big-theatre opera, both the work and its presentation share the brutal fascination of a road accident; thoroughly nasty, but you don't want to look away. Helen Charnock (soprano), Fiona Kimm (mezzo), Quentin Hayes, Richard Suart (baritones), The Almeida Ensemble; Richard Bernas. 4:3 picture format. PCM Stereo. Region Code: 0. 81 min.


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