Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy birthday, Thomas Adès

The English composer Thomas Adès is 39 today. He must get sick of being called the new Britten, but that is the easiest comparison: young, gifted and gay, he is, as Britten was, a fine conductor, an accomplished concert pianist and a hugely productive composer.

What’s more, almost all his music has been recorded by a major label (EMI, bless them) and is performed all over the world. His opera Powder Her Face which is based on the true story of the notorious Duchess of Argyll – this obituary from the Daily Telegraph (“a completely promiscuous woman”) is a classic of the genre – has even been performed in Queensland.

Here is the opening scene: it is a kind of tango but is very much not safe for work. Unless your office is cool with a man dressed as a duchess singing loudly about fellatio. My office is, but then I work from home.


Phil said...

Little Britten does Noh Theatre ...

Paul said...

Marvellous woman; I was introduced to her once, when I was a small boy.