Nosferatu

This recording of Nosferatu features Susan Gundunas (soprano), Robert McPherson (tenor), Douglas Nagel (baritone). Performed by Rimrock Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Barbara Day Turner.

Composer Alva Henderson contributes wonderful recollections of his youth collecting classical and opera recordings in the 1950’s, leading to comparisons and contrasts of studio and live recordings of operas. These annotations more than explain how Mr. Henderson came to love modern opera and how his creative path was chosen. This fascinating new release presents his and librettist Dana Gioia’s interpretation of the classic 1922 F. W. Murnau silent film Nosferatu, probably still the most haunting and certainly most expressionistic vampire story in motion picture history. Though Henderson entered San Francisco State College in the 1960’s for drama studies, he changed to music and studied under Wayne Peterson and Robert Sheldon. While supporting himself as a member of the San Francisco Opera Chorus, he completed his first opera, Medea. The 1972 San Diego Production brought him national attention. In the years that followed came operas based on The Last of the Mohicans, The Tempest, Far From the Madding Crowd and Much Ado About Nothing. Dana Oland of the Idaho Statesman wrote, “The opera…is a success and a stunning addition to the world of contemporary opera. Henderson composed rich, luscious melodies to meld with Gioia’s delicious poetry, written in English…an opera than can make English a poetic, operatic language. Henderson deserves acclaim for his brilliant and sweeping score.” Here is a release for the adventurous opera fan!

 

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