Fantasy Opera

While paying a visit to the London Coliseum, Terry Gilliam mentioned that his 1985 film Brazil would make a good opera. This got us talking in the office about our own ‘fantasy operas’ - dream couplings of concepts with composers. Interested to see what our followers could come up with, we asked them for suggestions of what could be great operas.

Some great ideas came back. As well as a lot of enthusiasm for Brazil, with nominations for Stephen Sondheim or Torsten Rasch (who composed ENO’s Punchdrunk collaboration The Duchess Of Malfi) to write the music, there was also a suggestion for an opera of The Fisher King - another Terry Gilliam film.

We’re big fans of Thomas Adès, so we were very happy to see a suggestion for him to adapt Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina into an opera (although we should also point out that it is already a ballet - to be performed at the London Coliseum by Eifman Ballet in April).

In the office the suggestions came thick and fast: The Crucible, The Cuban Missile Crisis (John Adams composing), Metropolis (Thomas Adès), The Social Network (Nico Muhly), while our social networks buzzed with ideas: Citizen Kane (Mark Anthony Turnage), Blade Runner (Ryuichi Sakamoto (with a libretto by novelist David Mitchell)), and even Cidade de Deus (City of God).

Some seemingly fantastical ideas have already been realised as operas: Mice and Men (Carlisle Floyd) and Julian Assange, the Opera (Jonathan Dreyfus)! Definitely one to keep an eye out for…