Frankenstein, reviews!

“Grey’s use of electronics aurally modernized the old opera house, and his warmly modernist score compassionately accentuated Topi Lehtipuu’s frightening portrayal of a monster discovering the meaning of emotions. This “Frankenstein” illumines the ultimate “outcast”.

“As in many postmodern adaptations of literary classics, the ‘oppressed’ characters from the book still get a voice thanks to this polyphony. This multitude of voices had the effect that I started sympathizing with the Creature even more than I had done in the novel”.

“Une belle réussite au total qui laisse quelques mélomanes sur leur faim mais a le mérite de faire avancer la réflexion sur l’opéra contemporain, sa (dé)construction et sa reconstruction. Le mythe de Frankenstein serait alors vécu comme la métaphore de la (douloureuse) création artistique.”

“On l’aura compris, le tout de cette production vaut plus que la somme des parties, et c’est le concept global et la réflexion qu’il suscite, plus que l’efficace mise en scène ou la partition hétéroclite qui emporte l’adhésion, servis par une distribution sans faille et par un orchestre impliqué et galvanisé”

“It forces us to reflect with a Frankenstein 2.0 narratively appealing, musically fascinating, easy to follow but intelligent, perhaps with the aim of bringing new audiences to the Opera without traumatizing or displeasing the old”…”If we want the Opera to be still vital in a few centuries, alongside the preservation of tradition, we need to courageously launch completely new creations such as this Frankenstein, works that bring the sensibility of time musically and narratively, and in places and contexts of representation that allow access to a wider number of spectators “.

“Text and music go hand in hand”… “Júlia Canosa i Serra takes from Mary Shelley’s novel for the libretto, enriching it with new lyrics. The futuristic embedding replaces the epistolary framework. The transhuman dystopia meets the past recounted in retrospective video projections, which, in its cinematic theatrical abundance, impressively takes you into the forest and snowy landscapes”.

“His opera (Mark Grey’s), which launches an aesthetic dice to the public, is a digest of the history of electronic music, often filling the big gap between tradition and avant-garde while maintaining a tonal universe, with superb vocal lines”…”Through successive flash-backs, the story of Frankenstein rewinds on stage by snatching the memories of the creature (Grand cousu). And this fiction within fiction… is such an artistic UFO that one can wonder if it belongs to the genre “opera”. The site Operawire ranks it among the top ten operas in 2019 “.

“As contemporary as it is, Mark Gray’s music is never hermetic. It emerges an undeniable power in phase with the story…It sticks to the plot, is strong and sometimes dazzling. Composed in parallel with the work of the other “creators” of this updated Frankenstein, the score envelops everything in osmosis with the libretto and the scenography”.

“A wonderful multidisciplinary production, where technique, handled with dexterity, combined with the artistic know-how, leads to an increase of perceptions and sensations. Not to be missed”.

“Rhythm breaks invoke gigantic effects, piercing the melodic heart into thriller projections. Mark Grey writes in musical strata, arranged to the point, soliciting ingenious colors and sensible moods: the very subject creation of the opera, it delivers its facets without exhaustion of resources. Innovation can be found on the set, both in Júlia Canosa’s libretto and in Àlex Ollé’s consistent staging.”

“A new successful Opera, enjoyable from the profane of the work as from the most astute enthusiast, which gives an emotional crescendo, both from a sonic and visual point of view, which fascinates and at the end conquers without exception placing many questions, always current, on the relationship between Creator and Creature, on the acceptance of the Different, between Machine and Man, on the benefits but also on the risks that any experimentation can involve”.

“With ‘Frankenstein’, premiered on Friday at La Monnaie / De Munt in Brussels, the stage director Àlex Ollé – La Fura dels Baus -, the composer Mark Gray and the librettist Júlia Canosa have created a subgenre, the ‘sci-fi “opera”, because here the plot is born of futuristic fiction and is not an adaptation of a repertoire opera, the proposal surprises and excites, with an impressive visual apparatus and a top stage direction”.

“The opera is as vital as its subject, mystical and reflexive: it puts on stage and in the music the question of the modern creation”.

“Frankenstein is one of those works that demands to take a step back, and while its philosophical and abstract side may still scare an unaccustomed audience, Frankenstein is in any case the kind of approach the opera needs.”

“Júlia Canosa’s libretto is excellent, combining dramatic progression and vocality while opening up a thousand scenic possibilities”.

“We found that Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner were not at light years away, when Gray put down his impressive score”…”Well, making your own opera, that’s what Gray and Ollé have done. With impressive results. Chapeau!”

“Another critical collaboration is playwright Júlia Canosa i Serrra, who has concocted a highly successful libretto, a fairly free adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous novel that has inspired many others, particularly in the cinema”.

“Composer Mark Gray is not an iconoclast but a great craftsman who gives us a score with many references to 20th-century examples such as Britten, Adams or Bernstein. Electro-acoustic efects get one important part in this opera and provide an enrichment of the score”.