The most striking and effective thing in the Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra’s operatic adaptation of The Hours (to Dec 15), conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is its taking full narrative advantage of having its three lead female characters on stage.
That physical proximity, and Phelim McDermott’s intelligent reading of Michael Cunningham’s best-selling novel (the score is by Kevin Puts and libretto by Greg Pierce), brings to intimate and evocative life the correspondences and echoes thrumming between feminist novelist Virginia Woolf (Joyce DiDonato) in 1923, Laura Brown (Kelli O’Hara), a Los Angeles housewife in 1949, and book editor Clarissa Vaughan (Renée Fleming) in New York in 1999.
The formats of book and film mean this shared stage presence is impossible; here instead we get to see scenes and voices sometimes overlapping, or characters remaining on stage in quiet or semi-frozen rest, as another character plays out a scene.
Source: The Daily Beast
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