Saturday night we opened our production of Bernard Herrmann’s only opera, Wuthering Heights. Below we have included an article about it from Friday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune.
What is cinematic, and what is operatic? To some ears, a lot of Puccini sounds cinematic even though he died in 1924, three years before the movie The Jazz Singer, the first full-length talking picture. So when someone in attendance says that Wuthering Heights sounds “very cinematic” we might just respond, “yes, just like Puccini.” Herrmann completed Wuthering Heights in 1951, a few years prior to the beginning of his great collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock. And for his 1941 score for Orson Welles’ masterpiece Citizen Kane Herrmann composed an aria to be sung by the trophy second wife of lead character John Foster Kane. Kane pushes her to become an opera singer, a career option not suited for her due to a lack of talent and ambition. She sings Herrmann’s aria badly. Here it is a link to it being sung well, by soprano Kiri Te Kanawa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzWX59Nvimw So is this Te Kanawa being cinematic? Or Herrmann being operatic? Both? Neither?
Let us know what you think.