LORI LAITMAN (b.1955): The Scarlet Letter.
Catalogue Number: 08T066
Description: Laitman is one of the most prolific and fluent song and opera composers of our time, with a gift for effortless melody and for getting to the emotional heart of her texts. In her opera on Hawthorne's classic novel she is greatly assisted by David Mason's supremely skilful rendering of the story into verse. Laitman's lyrical, eloquent score, firmly tonal, belongs to the tradition of the great opera composers of the past, with vividly portrayed characters whose dramatic trajectory and development is reflected in music so finely descriptive as to render staging all but redundant. Dimmesdale's progressive disintegration of spirit, Chillingworth's duplicitous self-deception and above all Hester's resolve and strength of character are presented as a psychological drama of devastating insight through the power of meticulously crafted dialogue and exquisite musical color and shading. This is not a work of introverted self-examination, though; the judgmental societal mores of the day provide a dramatic backdrop in powerful choral scenes and the interaction of secondary characters. 2 CDs. Libretto available online. Laura Claycomb (soprano), Dominic Armstrong (tenor), Malcolm MacKenzie, Daniel Belcher (baritones), Opera Colorado Orchestra and Chorus; Ari Pelto.