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 Posted:   May 22, 2006 - 1:04 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

Here's the link:

http://www.calendarlive.com/music/cl-ca-grendel21may21,0,5330079.story?coll=cl-home-more-channels

I didn't realize Goldenthal had an accident last Dec.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

A scary accident

One reason for a sort of domino effect of tardiness pervading this production was a freak accident last fall that left Goldenthal with a serious head injury just when his composing talents were most in demand.

He says his traditional working hours are "9 to 5 — that's 9 p.m. to 5 a.m." So it was not unusual that he was awake in the wee hours one December night in the couple's New York home. "I was sitting at my table in the kitchen after work. I couldn't fall asleep. I was leaning back in my chair, and the chair tipped over," he says quietly. "And that was it."

When Taymor talks about the incident, tears still pop into her eyes. "It was the most terrible, horrifying thing I've ever been through," she says in a separate conversation. "It was Dec. 13, the day before my birthday. He fell, and he got a double hematoma — we have hard ceramic floors. He couldn't speak for a while, but he had to keep composing.

"The funny thing was, when I went to the hospital, the speech therapist would have him write things down. She'd ask: 'What's your name?' and he'd write: 'Elliot.' And then she'd ask: 'Who is the president of the United States?' and he'd write: 'C-H-E-N-E-Y.' That's when I knew I still had him. He still had his humor and quick wit."

The accident slowed the 52-year-old Goldenthal down by a month or so — and, unlike Taymor, he believes the trauma left him temporarily humor-impaired. "When I am at my best, I communicate with a lot of irony and wit and that stuff, and I can't communicate that because it relies on rhythm and cadence, which I can't do right now," he complains. "I miss it."

But although the injury continues to trouble his speech, Goldenthal says it never affected his ability to compose. "I didn't lose that capacity in my brain, and the motor skills were there in my hands," he says. "But it was just the luck I had that I was writing an opera, and I prefer to sing through everything, so I can get a sense of how much the voice can sustain, just the human physicality and the endurance." Ironically, though, singing turned out to be his best speech therapy. "I had to wrap my tongue around difficult language, Old English," he says.


James

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2006 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   Southall   (Member)

That piece has really whetted my appetite for this (though it was pretty "whet" already). Can't make it to LA or NY so I guess the best I can hope for is a CD.

I love that the only adjective used to describe Goldenthal's music (in general, not for Grendel) is "accessible" - the very complaint many film music listeners seem to have is that it's unaccessible! (See Filmtracks' recent review of Demolition Man for an example.)

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2006 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

Holy Mother of God. That's a terrible accident. I can't believe he nearly died in such a way and that it is still affecting him to this day. I hope he gets fully better. I am a great fan of Goldenthal and really looking forward to Grendel and anything else he gets round to doing to be honest. I hope he doesn't lean back on his chair again, and composes great stuff for the next 30 years. Then he can have a rest.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2006 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Thanks for the heads-up. I had no idea he had been through a terrible accident like that. Very disconcerting, but let's hope he's back on track now.

NP: "Ca Ira" (Waters)

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2006 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Olivier   (Member)

Pretty scary.
My best wishes to him for a full recovery.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 2:03 AM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)

Thanks for the link to this article, Bond.

I hope Mr. Goldenthal has recovered and is in the best of health. But fortunately, it seems he didn't take away any permanent losses from the accident. I know from my family how fast such terrible casualties can happen, and again it's thought-provoking to read about things like that.

As to the things said about the music, I totally agree with Southall. Goldenthal has had all the liberties to express himself in "Grendel", and again lots of creative collaborators. I didn't expect the piece to be full 3 hours long - even more auspicious given the density of Goldenthal's music so far.

I won't be able to attend performances neither, let's really hope for a release of the work on CD/DVD. I suppose if they release it, it'll be a live recording. (Maybe "Grendel" gets a treatment similar to Domingo's new Tristan and Isolde studio recording - 3 CDs plus DVD. Hm.)

After having read the article above, I can't wait to hear the Dragon aria, in particular.

And if you missed, here again the link to the LA Opera multimedia footage, including a short video clip showing music from the opera performed at a press conference:

http://www.laopera.com/production/index.asp?productionid=197

 
 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I won't be able to attend performances neither, let's really hope for a release of the work on CD/DVD. I suppose if they release it, it'll be a live recording. (Maybe "Grendel" gets a treatment similar to Domingo's new Tristan and Isolde studio recording - 3 CDs plus DVD. Hm.)

In the most recent FSM Online, Goldenthal says that a recording in the US is out of the question (due to various legal hindrances and financial concerns), but he's open for a possible recording in Europe down the road.

NP: THE 13TH WARRIOR (Goldsmith)

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)

In the most recent FSM Online, Goldenthal says that a recording in the US is out of the question (due to various legal hindrances and financial concerns), but he's open for a possible recording in Europe down the road.

I recall John Corigliano's opera The Ghosts of Versailles has been published on VHS once, but maybe this has been recorded in Europe, as well. Here it's almost common practice to record modern operas during performance. In the case of success of the US productions, is there a concrete perspective for a Europe tour of "Grendel"?

A great pity that there won't be a soon release, and I guess not even a radio live broadcast. wink

Any board member who will attend one of the L.A. performances?

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

I will certainly be going.

 
 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Doug Adams   (Member)

I will be there on June 8 along with the FSM crew. Come say hi.

-Doug Adams

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   scoringsessions   (Member)

Any board member who will attend one of the L.A. performances?

I'll be there

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 9:24 PM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)

Note: Due to technical and mechanical problems, the May 27 performance of Grendel has been cancelled. Audience members with tickets for the May 27 performance can exchange their tickets to attend later performances.

Found this on the LA Opera website...

 
 
 Posted:   May 25, 2006 - 10:01 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

"Grendel" opera opening delayed by computer glitch


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A $2.8 million opera about a medieval monster fell prey to a 21st century computer problem on Thursday, forcing producers of "Grendel" to delay its world premiere in Los Angeles from Saturday until June 8.

"Grendel," with music by Oscar-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal and directed by Julie Taymor, who created the Broadway hit "The Lion King," was to have opened before a black tie audience on Saturday night in one of the most ambitious projects ever mounted by the Los Angeles Opera.

Instead that opening was delayed until June 8, with Saturday being reserved for a closed dress rehearsal. Two performances set for June 1 and 2 have been redesignated as preview performances.

"Everything is ready to go except the computer unit," said L.A. Opera chief operating officer Edgar Baitzel. He was referring to four computers that control 28 motors that operate the production's centerpiece, a 28-foot (8.5 meter) tall rotating ice and earth wall on which almost all of the three hour opera's action takes place.

The wall's built-in stages and moving props are too heavy to be operated manually.

Crew members said they were heartbroken that the show will not premiere as planned. "The show was looking very exciting," said one. "The music was magnificent. We are all disappointed it is being postponed."

Few new operas have been as highly anticipated as "Grendel," which tells the Anglo Saxon epic "Beowulf" from the monster Grendel's point of view.

In a statement, the opera's general director Placido

Domingo said "Grendel" was the most complex production the L.A. Opera has ever mounted.

While "the show must go on," Domingo said, "until all of the set's technical issues can be resolved, it would be unfair for us to jeopardize the incredible work of 'Grendel's' creative team."

James

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2006 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Ahh....just what Goldenthal feared the most. Technical problems that he has no control over.

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2006 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

I don't know what to expect from Grendel but I hope the music is at least somewhat original, which is more than can be said about his film scores. I know for a fact that opera audiences have less patiente with 'borrowings' than film music folks do. Get a hold of this:

Wagner's Prelude to Act 2 of Parsifal:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/music/wma-pop-up/B000001G53002007/ref=mu_sam_wma_002_007/103-2135689-5195836

Goldenthal's Batman overture:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/music/wma-pop-up/B000002J56001001/ref=mu_sam_wma_001_001/103-2135689-5195836

 
 
 Posted:   May 28, 2006 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I don't know what to expect from Grendel but I hope the music is at least somewhat original, which is more than can be said about his film scores.

Yeah, right. roll eyes You're only talking about the most original-sounding composer in Hollywood today.

And your comparison between Wagner and BATMAN FOREVER is completely moot. No one is denying that the BATMAN scores (and 90% of all traditional film music) is inspired by Wagner. Goldenthal has even said as much himself. Stylistic hommage, that's all there is.

 
 Posted:   May 29, 2006 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)


Yeah, right. roll eyes You're only talking about the most original-sounding composer in Hollywood today.

And your comparison between Wagner and BATMAN FOREVER is completely moot. No one is denying that the BATMAN scores (and 90% of all traditional film music) is inspired by Wagner. Goldenthal has even said as much himself. Stylistic hommage, that's all there is.


I agree with that.

Not that it's worth a debate on principles - but see the track title "Batterdammerung"; and I feel one hasn't to be a Wagner specialist to recognise the element of ironcal refraction in this music. Then, in the special case, there's a quite similar analogy between those comic heroes and Wagnerian figures.

 
 
 Posted:   May 29, 2006 - 8:38 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

Can't say a bad word against Golders - top lad with a splash of talent. Hope this opera gets sorted out and some inspired chap or chapess bungs it onto cd soon.

The good thing about people going on about composers ripping off classical pieces is that i become aware of tons of great classical music i wouldn't have otherwise known about.

I'd heard of Wagner though, popular chap, and very good in Hart to Hart.

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

if Goldenthal is the most original-sounding composer in Hollywood today, Hollywood is in deep sh*t. And what on earth do Batman characters have to do with Wagner to warrant such a 'homage'? (do they always use 'homage' for down-right plagiarism? hmmm interesting)

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 3:21 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

if Goldenthal is the most original-sounding composer in Hollywood today, Hollywood is in deep sh*t.

Whatever. It's pretty obvious to me that you aren't even slightly familiar with any of Goldenthal's output beyond the BATMAN scores (and I'm not even sure you know those).

And what on earth do Batman characters have to do with Wagner to warrant such a 'homage'?

Well, the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics and visual style, for one. I'm sure there are more concrete similarities as well, but I'm not a Wagner expert.

(do they always use 'homage' for down-right plagiarism? hmmm interesting)

First of all, it is proper to use the word "hommage" in this case because Goldenthal has made it abundantly clear (both in interviews and track titles) that Wagner was a major source of inspiration for this score (just like it was for Danny Elfman in the first film). Second, there isn't even a minimal TRACE of plagiarism to be found here. There is nothing in the two themes you linked to that denote such a thing. Stylistic similarity? Yes, certainly. But it ends there. Third, this is not simply Wagner pasted into the score, it is Wagner as channeled through Goldenthal's UNIQUE style. I can recognize a Goldenthal score from miles away. He is very idiosyncratic.

 
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