"It's probably the first opera that 'stick it up your arse' has been sung"
March 12, 2010 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Opera lovers embrace tree-hugger! Opera Australia presented Bliss, an opera based on Peter Carey's 1981 Kafka-esque novel last night. 'Carey's story was set in a tropical city that could well be Brisbane. And the idyll depicted in the final chapter of a free, clothing-optional, communal life seemed to mirror Carey's experience: the author and former ad man once lived on a commune at Yandina, north of Brisbane.' Harry Joy is an unlikely hero, 'a bit of an idiot really' but his tree-change journey is a timely one, and is garnering international interest. Australian mefites can watch Bliss live from Sydney Opera House next week on ABC2.
posted by honey-barbara (7 comments total)
Thanks! Bliss has always been one of my favourite films but I had no idea it was based on a Peter Carey novel. I'll have to track it down.
posted by Flashman at 7:40 PM on March 12, 2010

posted by honey-barbara

Well, yes, of course it is.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:23 PM on March 12, 2010

Heh, great user name
posted by KokuRyu at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2010

Wow, really wish I could see this. I've seen the movie at least six times, I have the book, which I re-read on a regular basis. 'A bit of an idiot'? No. More an uncomplicated person who finds himself in a complicated situation. "...only a crazy man would write a love letter that takes eight years to arrive..." He timed his planted trees so that they would eventually bloom in time to produce honey in April. Idiot? No. Sublime? Yes. A love letter that was designed and planned to such an extent as to be undeniable. What better statement could anyone make to another person.
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:03 PM on March 12, 2010

(just in case... my comment - totally not directed at you, honey-barbara. at the comment by carey, actually, which just doesn't mesh with the way i saw the character. cool post, btw, and also what KokuRyu said.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:17 PM on March 12, 2010

I hear ya Zack_R. I am a multiple return reader and viewer of Bliss. The last scenes of the novel is absolutely how I believe death is going to be; and Harry's communion with Honey Barbara is, well, you nailed it, 'what better statement could anyone make to another person'.

So, I was dismayed to read what Carey said recently about the character of Harry Joy - like he only remembers Harry as the cuckolded loser before his transformational arc. It seems that he's embarrassed that this early work is even getting this attention, and yet it's his finest in my opinion. There's a part of me that also thinks this disavowing of Harry is because Carey has reverted to a bit of an ad man since he's moved from Brisbane to NYC. You'd think he'd be honoured but he can't even be bothered showing up in Sydney for it.
posted by honey-barbara at 10:45 PM on March 12, 2010

Speaking of usernames... Yeah, it's me. And I need all the embraces I can get, from opera lovers or any other type of lovers.
posted by TreeHugger at 11:13 PM on March 12, 2010

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