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November 16, 2016
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April 26, 2000
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Zi0f0~15/ Approved 1FWVWVMW BOO IN S 4: CIA-RDP75-00001 ROO STATINTL Lielserrttannllork _ied on Ulysses Legend - C iristl Coltz Sings Title Role I I NRY PL]1ASAV* pedal to The New'?ork Tlmee. ''P SALZBURG, Austria, Aug. 17 If intelligence and Ingenuity 'were., l1 that were required to i compere an effective opera, then Rolf .iebermann's "Penelope," which had its premiere here last night, might well be considered a succclWssftll effort. Howiver, since Inspiration mary requisite, this conspicuously )uninspired "Penelope" is unlikely to enjoy ater success than that of oth "ecent operas whose intelligence uottent may have been inferior. It it impossible to listen to "Penelope" and to read the com- mentaries provided bt the Swiss composer and his librettist, Hein- rich Strobel, without sensing that both have been, more con- cerned th avoiding the mis -Vi - takes others than with risking original rxnistakes of their own, Thus, in order to avoid anti. quarianisni In the treatmen of. a Greek theme, and to make their opera topical, they have'. put the Penelope-Ulysses legend"'in mod- ern dress and given it "a new twist by having Penelope` marry before Ulysses' ieturn.. Projected Into Future However, In order to nlIttgai mediacy of The topic, the uthd audience} from the conseijue2it tragedy by having the' Penelope of the Greek legend present it, as a projection into the future) as a sort of bxtension of her in- genious tapestry. Nor Is this the. end of defen devices. In orderi to enliven av eary tale, comic relief is prodded by three of Penelope's suitors In commedia appears at the end''to offer an edifying sernlGn to the effect tbbt score. The most frequent criticism of modern operas is that they give singers nothing to 0g. r. Liebermann gives thepi # good deal. But, since he Is a modern composer; What he-_ ves them is usually a UYelve-tofie row. Even here, however; he is on the defen- sive. Since it (s the lank of a tonal foundatio ? which Leo dis- turbs the laym listening to twelve-tone m Mr. Lieber- !mann employs twelve tones) within easily recognizable tonali- ties. The result is something about; as close to the - dern twelve-1 tone technic fstan and Narnaony The . i irn ntation goes further t .79a or the) Greek scenes c~$ are orusesi in souped-up odharirypny, For the modern scenes there Is even a sequence of boogie g e. For a minor ?tioloratura ? racter! there is 4n1 aria it la. erbinetta, and for ,,$fie comic" charactersi there oFrowings from the grotesq " 3'of Stravinsky and) `i'h!"sti o rs words, not so mub an o a1 score as a series of ginupic .s intelligently toncelve$ end pklll,fiullv.executed, in - both score-an at- tempt tc i4 something for everyone, ending in an opera with noth nuch for anybody. " No one I tided, but neither is any Sri: ch pleased. In aveidi the known pitfalls, the autho ave provided no virtues off it own. The opera will be dlspited by, the mod- ems for-,ids compromises and by the. co fives for its. mod- ernlty. I; ppld .be easy to say that Mr. hermann is a Jack- of-all-styles,. d master of none. The fact is ' that he is master of a good This is true of other m 'composers,,. _What defeats e a it defeats Mr. Liebe ii the absence of a reaod . style of thel `own, wit " $ vocals nary and, syntax intelligible to both compcPer$ and; lay lie er-n: ,pZ.. music j of their own time. The npw opera bn fq, .superb productl0 by Oscar Fr Schuh l and Caspar Neher.' ~t *as excel- lently conducted by Geprge Szell and dolinated by the stunning Penelope of"`, hristl Goltz. it was received with the polite ap- plause now customary on suciil occasions. ~ Approved For Release 2000/05/24: CIA-RDP75-00001 R000400010021-0