Reaction Weekend

David Lang – opera’s rebel without a cause

Opera review - David Lang's Prisoner of the State at the Lincoln Center, New York

BY Gerald Malone   /  14 June 2019

A new work by American composer, David Lang, is always an important event. He self describes as a passionate, prolific and complicated composer. This is true. He is big potatoes. I grabbed one of the few remaining seats at the premiere last Thursday of Prisoner of the State, his latest opera, at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, home of The New York Philharmonic.

Beep! Beep! Alert! Please, sir, but that’s not an opera house, it’s a concert hall. Well spotted, Grimshaw minor at the back. Lang has created a tableau, using the orchestra as observers and surrounding them with the action. Or, perhaps, the sponsors wouldn’t cough up for a full size hall?

Perish the thought. It’s the former, as Lang specialises in creating works that spring surprises.


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