two boys

two boys operai am an operatic neophyte; fresh-faced and open-armed to the medium that dates back to the late fifteen hundreds. being fortunate enough to attend two operas in the past several weeks (the first being a twin peaks-ish, almost proto-cubist interpretation of britten’s a midsummer night’s dream) i have been hypnotized by these stunning librettos. this past weekend was two boys, nico muhly’s (genius boy) groundbreaking interpretation of an enigmatic disaster that takes place largely in internet chatrooms. paul appleby as the lead exudes the quintessence of an awkward teenager; portraying normalcy with his varsity jacket and aloof attitude, meanwhile scavenging through the doldrums of adolescence with his webcam. with alice coote’s unnerving intensity as a wounded but dauntless detective, the show’s lowly pulsating rhythms juxtapose seamlessly, while dropping internet slang and making references to fellatio. perhaps not what you would expect in an opera, but what do i know, i am a newcomer after all. i strongly recommend going to see this if you are in new york at any point before november 14th. you can read more about the despondently true tale that inspired muhly’s composition in the vanity fair article here. by sv