tue 31/03/2020

The Lion's Face, Opera Group | reviews, news & interviews

The Lion's Face, Opera Group

The Lion's Face, Opera Group

Dementia is given the operatic treatment

'A frighteningly convincing portrait': Dave Hill as Alzheimers sufferer Mr D, with Rachel HynesMatthew Andrews
An opera about Alzheimer’s disease might seem an idea calculated to send the most community-minded audience rapidly to the nearest exit. Yet there's a longish history of theatre – musical and otherwise – about loss of memory and the failure of language, from Wagner to Bartók to Beckett to (even) Michael Nyman; and if Elena Langer's new piece for The Opera Group, The Lion's Face, ultimately fails to measure up dramatically to that tradition, it may be because, in approaching the subject from a clinical angle, it imprisons itself in the inescapability of the condition itself, without hope of change or catharsis.
An opera about Alzheimer’s disease might seem an idea calculated to send the most community-minded audience rapidly to the nearest exit. Yet there's a longish history of theatre – musical and otherwise – about loss of memory and the failure of language, from Wagner to Bartók to Beckett to (even) Michael Nyman; and if Elena Langer's new piece for The Opera Group, The Lion's Face, ultimately fails to measure up dramatically to that tradition, it may be because, in approaching the subject from a clinical angle, it imprisons itself in the inescapability of the condition itself, without hope of change or catharsis.

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters