A melody is silenced
February 2, 2007 9:56 PM Subscribe
Gian Carlo Menotti was, until his death at 95, the most often-performed contemporary opera composer. Among his works is the first opera composed for radio, the most popular Christmas opera, possibly the first opera in which a telephone plays a principal role (Poulenc's came more than a decade later), an opera about aliens, and a masterpiece about life under totalitarian rule (which was also the first time that suicide by gas oven made it to the stage). He ignored the fashion of atonality that held academia in thrall, and never veered from his lyrical style. He wrote his own libretti, which showed a mastery and love of language as deep as his musical talents. Some of his works were Broadway successes. And he created one of the finest music festivals [includes embedded music video]. He will be remembered.
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