Kepler at BAM

image from * Notes * 
The US premiere of Kepler by Philip Glass was last Wednesday night at BAM. The opera is rather more like an oratorio than an opera, being that of the 7 solo roles, only one was a named character, Kepler himself. All the singers were from the Upper Austrian State Theatre, Linz, and they acquitted themselves rather well, as far as the chorus is concerned. The soloists blended nicely together, but as Kepler, Martin Achrainer was difficult to hear over the heavy orchestration, as was tenor Pedro Velázquez Díaz. The soprano Alaine Rodin replaced Cassandra McConnell, and was somewhat shrill, but was otherwise inoffensive.

The Bruckner Orchester Linz played nicely under Dennis Russell Davies, though they overwhelmed the soloists at times, they were never painfully loud. As for the opera itself, charmingly enough the texts were in German and Latin, especially adorable was when Kepler sang about the polyhedral models of the orbits of various planets. "Ohne echtes Wissen ist das Leben tot" also had a particular beauty.

* Tattling * 
The audience was fairly silent, though there was one watch alarm at each hour, and a few people left early despite there being no intermission.