This, Peter Eötvös'
fifth opera, is based on the novel Of Love and Other Demons
by Columbian author Gabriel García Márquez. The story is set in an 18th century Columbian seaport. It is based around a young girl Sierva Maria (Allison Bell
) who contracts rabies and is believed to be possessed. She is admitted to a Convent for observation. Father Cayetano Delaura (Nathan Gunn
) tends to her and is supposed to exorcise her, but shockingly falls in love instead. The opera is of their love: improbable, moving, and defying the constraints of faith and reason. The opera is sung in four languages; English being the language of the people, Latin the language in the Convent, Spanish deployed for intimate discussion between the central characters Sierva and Delaura, and Yoruba the language of the slaves.Jurowski's
conducting reveals fine detail and finesse within the score, Allison Bell's stratospheric 'bel canto' is fearless, Nathan Gunn convincing in his portrayal of the tortured soul of Delaura.Love and Other Demons
was commissioned by Glyndebourne. In its premiere season it was performed at the BBC Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall, and has subsequently been staged by Lithuanian National Opera in November 2008 and a sold out production in Chemnitz in Germany in 2009.
Eotvos language references Africa with glittering results. Perfomance **** Recording **** BBC Music Opera Choice --BBC music Magazine, Christmas 2013
Fine all-round performances. --Gramophone, Jan'14
The cast is as fine overall as its constituent members might suggest. --IRR, Jan'14