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Subject: Re: yee gads...an accordion!!!
From: Martin Rommel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Martin Rommel <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 14 Aug 2011 07:35:14 -0700
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Boleslav Martinu's "Julietta"...an opera that is ye
Dan Kessler wrote:

Boleslav Martinu's "Julietta"...an opera that is yet to receive its North
American premiere features an accordion to marvelous effect. . . .

That Richard Jones production made me feel that "Julietta" is a terribly
underrated opera.
____________________________________________________________________________________

'Terribly' sounds like the right word here. The opera is based on a fascinating play by Georges Neveux, the first place to begin before approaching Martinu's work. If, for example, 'Pelleas and Melisande' and 'Wozzeck'--another opera in which the accordion can be heard, along with 'Fedora'--appeal to you deeply; or if the films of Luis Bunuel compel you to watch them again and again, each time understanding them less and less; or if novels like Knut Hamsun's _Mysteries_ or anything by Celine leaves you trembling, then Martinu's opera about the 'key of dreams' will be memorable. 

Richard Jones and designer Anthony Jones actually used a massive accordion as part of the set decoration for their 2002 production in Paris, a photo of which can be seen here:
 
http://www.culturekiosque.com/opera/reviews/martinuzemlinsky.html
 
And notice the set decoration here in another production:
 
http://youtu.be/Xn0dWK6odCA
 
Pity the opera is not sung in Martinu's native language. 
 
In addition to the opera itself, Martinu also composed 'Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette' which received its world premiere only a few years ago in Prague. Information about the recording of that event and samples of the music can be found here:
 
http://www.supraphon.com/en/catalogue/releases/?item=780
 
Thanks Dan for standing up, in true Rheinlander style, for the accordion and mentioning this remarkable opera.
 
Martin

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