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The Tuesday Night Opera with Peter Van De Graaff: Greek Tragedy

Paul Claudel

Paul Claudel

Tuesday, January 13 at 8:00 pm

In this edition of The Tuesday Night Opera, Peter presents a discussion and recording of Milhaud’s Oresteia of Aeschylus featuring Dan Kempson, Lori Phillips, Jennifer Lane, and the University of Michigan Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Kiesler.

With a libretto by poet-dramatist Paul Claudel, Darius Milhaud set to music the ancient Greek tragedy originally created by Aeschylus out of even older myths: the Oresteia, the story of the Trojan War hero Agamemnon, his son Orestes, his wife Clytemnestra, and his daughters Iphigenia and Elektra. Probably the most famous modern-day musical setting of elements from this story is Richard Strauss’ opera Elektra; for his January opera sequence, Peter Van De Graaff is including this far lesser-known interpretation, performed by musicians of the University of Michigan.

The score came to the Ann Arbor school’s attention via the intervention of composer William Bolcom, who studied with Milhaud and wanted to encourage performances of what he called his teacher’s “magnum opus.”

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