03 Nov AMC: Met Opera Schedule
Enjoy the live experience of your favorite Opera Series in our very own AMC Theatres with friends and family this December. Beginning Saturday, December 10, L’Amour de Loin comes to life.
Saturday, December 10 – 12:55 PM
Wednesday, December 21 – 6:30 PM
Thursday, December 22 – 1:00 PM
Saariaho, living in Paris since 1982, had become familiar in 1993 with La vida breve by one of the first great troubadours of the 12th century, Jaufré Rudel. Prior to that she had seen a Peter Sellars staging of Messiaen’s opera, Saint-François d’Assise at the 1992 Salzburg Festival, but did not think that she was capable of writing one. However, the production convinced her of the possibility of transforming the poem into an opera, given Sellars’ sensibility and talents: “If that is an opera, then I can write one” she is quoted as saying.
The idea for an opera on this subject was to evolve over the following seven or eight years. After she was so taken by seeing the original manuscripts of the story of Jaufré (the love-struck young poet who wrote to a faraway lover in Tripoli, Lebanon), she set his poem to music as Lonh in 1996, a score for soprano and electronic instruments.
The sensibilities and backgrounds of both Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese-French author and journalist also living in Paris, and Saariaho – both voluntary exiles – brought them together to collaborate to turn “a seemingly simple story into a complex story very simply told. …..(And with) the straightforward trajectory of its plot, L’Amour de loin turns anxiously around deeper themes – obsession and devotion, reality and illusion, the loneliness of the artist, the need to belong”.
Having secured an advance commitment from the Salzburg Festival to stage the opera, Saariaho set about writing L’Amour de loin in 1999. Gerard Mortier, intendant of the Salzburg Festival, was at the origin of this project which included the participation of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden-Freiburg, an ensemble well known for its excellence in contemporary music.