KRIS DEFOORT (b.1959): The Woman Who Walked into Doors.
Catalogue Number: 05M086
Label: Fuga Libera
Description: Based on the book by lauded Irish writer Roddy Doyle, whose stories are set in the unforgiving hardscrabble world of working-class Dublin, Defoort's opera tells the story of a woman in a dreadfully abusive marriage, subsequently alcoholic, finally succeeding in throwing her husband out. She recalls her life in flashbacks after receiving news of her husband's death. The story is told entirely from her point of view; she is played by an actress and a singer, while other characters are disembodied memories, texts on a screen. The blunt - explicit - text is earthy, vernacular, colloquial, presented without judgment or comment. Defoort's music contrasts, and sometimes blends the styles of his improvising jazz ensemble and a similarly comprised concert ensemble. The hard-driven, tonal jazz style is aggressively rhythmic - think 1980s Loose Tubes or Django Bates - and dominates much of the 2nd act, while the music for the parallel ensemble is often a good deal less tonal, with unusual timbres. The soprano role is eloquent and lyrical, suggesting the idealised, inner life of the woman; the spoken part reflects the much harsher reality that she has come to regard as normal, or at least, inevitable. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Claron McFadden (soprano), Jacqueline Blom (actress), Dreamtime - Prometheus Ensemble; Etienne Siebens.