“As the audience we are invited to watch a social experiment in a laboratory on people who have no idea they are in the box and/or are being watched. Only one of the characters actually knows what’s going on and is aware they all are locked in and, although we don’t think they can see us, well, maybe we are seen and maybe we are also part of the experiment.”
“Opera is capable of putting across our passions and our stories far more powerfully than any other medium. We are a storytelling animal, and what Pandora’s Box does is tell an urgent, compact and complex story.”
“At the heart of Pandora’s Box is the tangled web of relationships within a group of five friends. This network of trust and deceit, secrets and half-truths, is of course ideal dramatic fodder for any opera. Moreover, it strikes me as positively dripping with musical possibility, and so I’ve been guided at every turn by the relationship of these characters to one another when constructing the score and determining how the music should unfold.”
It is one thing to imagine and quite another thing to know. Even if the truth is painful, it is still the truth. Does it not deserve to be uncovered? By such noble reasoning, we can bring about our own destruction…
“We leave the rehearsal room singing lines from the opera, we quote parts of the libretto to each other within other contexts, and this is when we know the work has paid off and that we all have the privilege to be creating something special and for the very first time.”
Robin Hood is a character from English myth. Instantly, the name conjures
romantic images of living in the woods, and of fighting with his Merry Men
To me, the main difference between this project and all of my other work was the sheer length. A 90-minute opera is significantly different to the 2-15 minute pieces I have been used to writing. The only way I can describe this difference, would be like that of writing a short story versus a novel.
How to create something surprising, meaningful, rather than a pastiche of all the other Robin Hoods that have made their way onto stage and screen? How to move beyond the long shadows cast by Errol Flynn, Mel Brooks, and Kevin Costner? How to ensure that our Robin was more than just another man in tights?
“As a conductor there is much that is impressive about this jaunty and violent score: the imaginative orchestration, the slick pacing and simple, strong architecture immediately spring to mind. It is, however, the intimate and playful relationship that exists between the words and music which is the greatest gift to the creative team…”
““What happens to us as we get older that makes us forget how good it is to fly?” I could today reply to that same question… the gravitational force of the digital world is just too strong to let me fly as a kid does with just a fish on his hand (in fact the fish is a balloon but he pretends not to know about it)…”
This is one extremely warped fairytale! A real joy in writing this opera has been finding ways to add a sinister twist to what, on the surface, may seem quite conventional, tonal material…
More money or less art? Antony Feeny examines the economics of opera