Opera Australia Presents Death in Venice

Death in Venice
Reviewed by Peter McCallum [The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 2005]
By Benjamin Britten
Opera Australia, Opera House
September 7 until September 23
Since opera began, composers have honoured, or pretended to honour, the principle that the music should serve the words, though, in reality, it is done more in the breach than the observance.
It is hard to think of an opera that comes closer to that ideal than Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice, with a brilliant libretto by Mifanwy Piper based on Thomas Mann’s novella. Few operas fall so heavily on one character, the author Aschenbach, who, as singer and actor, narrator and philosopher, must hold the audience through a self-doubting soliloquy on the dualities of order and desire, logic and sensuality, form and feeling, Apollo and Dionysus.
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