[ Sony Classical Blu-ray / Blu-ray Disc ]
Release Date: Thursday 10 November 2016
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This is the second creative project bringing together conductor Teodor Currentzis and director Peter Sellars (the first being the operatic double-bill of Iolanta and Perséphone staged in Madrid in 2012), and also the first collective production of three opera companies - the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Spanish Teatro Real and the English National Opera.
The action is set in Central America. Spanish colonialists are at war with the native Mayan people. In the face of the armed forces the locals appear armed with bows and arrows, but they are mere children. Blood runs like a river. The Mayans resort to trickery - in order to infiltrate the enemy, the daughter of the Mayan chief becomes a concubine to the commander of the Spanish army. The plan brings her unexpected happiness (she falls in love with the commander and has children with him) but also tragedy (the Spanish colonialists continue the massacre of the Mayans). With nowhere to turn for help, the only hope is that the great Mayan gods will descend from the sky to the earth at the critical moment…
The scenery recreates the symbolic and colourful decoration of the Mayan tribes and the Zapatista Army - a modern national liberation movement in Mexico. The music is performed by an international ensemble of soloists, choir and the orchestra musicAeterna.
"punchy playing from Perm Opera's MusicAeterna orchestra under Teodor Currentzis...The Perm chorus...also field Purcell's sacred anthems with refreshing directness...Yet the more the evening slides on, the more the tools in Sellars's armoury grow rusty...The sympathetic and hard-working Julia Bullock is the Queen...and two very different countertenors, the soprano-ish Vince Yi and the silkier-sounding Christophe Dumaux, both impress." (Gramophone)