The year is 1940; the place is just over the French border in the Pyrenees Mountains. The time is one crucial moment - the moment between life and death of a hero of intellectual adventure. Thus opens Shadowtime, composer Brian Ferneyhough's first opera, a bold musical reflection on the legacy and demise of German Jewish cultural philosopher, Walter Benjamin. High concept and high jinks combine in this impressionistic piece with a cycle of seven thematically linked but remarkably diverse musical sections. With a libretto blending poetry and rhyme by poet virtuoso Charles Bernstein, Shadowtime explores the major themes of Benjamin's work, including the nature of language and the power and possibilities of transformational politics. Performed in English with English supertitles.
Part of the 2005 Festival at Lincoln Center