Cast member Ronald Wood (C) performs as Oedipus at the English National Opera production of Julian Anderson's opera Thebans in London April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall
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It takes a while for Oedipus, in Sophocles's play based on the tragic Greek myth about the King of Thebes, to catch on that he's the very person the Oracles are talking about who has offended the gods by killing his father and marrying his mother.When he gets that inkling, in a new opera version "Thebans" with music by British composer Julian Anderson and a libretto by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness that had its premiere on Saturday, baritone Roland Wood expresses his new-found doubt in words sung to an eerie melody that gives listeners the sinking feeling that Oedipus is experiencing.It's a neat trick and Anderson has a few more up his sleeve in this version of Sophocles's three Oedipus plays combined into one opera in a production by French-Lebanese director Pierre Audi at the English National Opera (ENO).Anderson uses a contrabass clarinet plumbing its own lowest registers to hint at how deep and dark Oedipus's fate will be.
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