Poul Ruders: The Thirteenth Child The Santa Fe Opera, Odense Symphony Orchestra and Becky & David Starobin
- Poul Ruders (b. 1949): The Thirteenth Child, Act I:
- 1The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Drokan's Warning03:29
- 2The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Our House Endures02:25
- 3The Thirteenth Child, Act I: The Softest Spoken02:20
- 4The Thirteenth Child, Act I: What Is This Madness?01:37
- 5The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Lilies, Red as Blood03:53
- 6The Thirteenth Child, Act I: The Night Air Groans02:51
- 7The Thirteenth Child, Act I: The Trembling of the Earth01:31
- 8The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Interlude I00:43
- 9The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Hjarne's Funeral05:07
- 10The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Interlude II00:42
- 11The Thirteenth Child, Act I: 12 Brothers04:42
- 12The Thirteenth Child, Act I: The Lilies of Frohagord05:20
- 13The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Interlude III00:26
- 14The Thirteenth Child, Act I: Oh, Mother04:22
- The Thirteenth Child, Act II:
- 15The Thirteenth Child, Act II: The Forest07:05
- 16The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Food Song02:07
- 17The Thirteenth Child, Act II: A Riddle01:42
- 18The Thirteenth Child, Act II: My Secret03:11
- 19The Thirteenth Child, Act II: The Spell06:33
- 20The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Interlude IV00:25
- 21The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Light & Shadows02:05
- 22The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Frederic's Return02:12
- 23The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Keep My Beloved Safe01:20
- 24The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Fierce Winds of Change03:45
- 25The Thirteenth Child, Act II: The Lilies Bloom04:14
- 26The Thirteenth Child, Act II: The Shadows Lift02:06
- 27The Thirteenth Child, Act II: Together We Will Heal01:23
Info for Poul Ruders: The Thirteenth Child
The Thirteenth Child is a new opera in two acts, with music by Poul Ruders to a libretto by Becky & David Starobin. Commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera and the Odense Symfoniorkester, the libretto is an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm story, "The Twelve Brothers". The recording, made in Denmark and the USA, brings Ruders's gripping 80-minute score vividly to life, and is being released by Bridge Records in tandem with the world premiere staging of The Thirteenth Child by the Santa Fe Opera in July and August of 2019. The recording features soprano Sarah Shafer as Princess Lyra; mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford as Queen Gertrude (Ms. Mumford will also create the role for The Santa Fe Opera production); bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam as Drokan; bass Matt Boehler as King Hjarne; tenor David Portillo as Benjamin; tenor Alasdair Kent as Prince Frederic and Toke, and bass Alex Rosen as Corbin. The Odense Symfoniorkester and the Bridge Academy Singers are conducted by David Starobin and Benjamin Shwartz, with Amber Evans, chorus master. The Thirteenth Child is Poul Ruders's fifth opera. The 70 year old Danish composer is well known for his gripping dystopian opera, The Handmaid's Tale. The Thirteenth Child shares some of the dark world of The Handmaid's Tale, but also gives the listener a fairytale, full of romance, magic and transformation.
"Fairy tales advance by surprising, generally magical events, and Ruders has invented captivating music for each. Ruders and his librettists have created an enchanting work in the genre of the fairy-tale opera, replete with spells, magic gardens, a quest to find 12 long-lost brothers, and a princess (the 13th child of the title) fated to undergo ill and happy adventures before she rescues her brothers and weds her prince..." (Fanfare Magazine)
"...two outstanding singers, mezzo Tamara Mumford as Gertrude and lyric soprano Sarah Shafer as Lyra...Ruders furnishes the mother-daughter relationship with his most beautiful music, and the two singers are luminous in tone and moving emotionally. I must single out bass Matt Bochler as Hjarne, who encompasses an extraordinary vocal range extending from Fafner-like low notes to an eerie high falsetto. As the love interest, Prince Frederic, lyric tenor Alasdair Kent has a gleaming romantic tone perfectly suited to some of Ruders’s most romantic melodies." (Fanfare Magazine)
Sarah Shafer, soprano (Princess Lyra)
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano (Queen Gertrude)
Ashraf Sewailam, bass-baritone (Drokan)
Matt Boehler, bass (King Hjarre)
Alasdair Kent, tenor (Prince Frederic, Toke)
David Portillo, tenor (Benjamin)
Alex Rosen, bass (Corbin)
In a country far, far away, the two neighboring kingdoms of Frohagord and Hauven are in crisis. The embittered Drokan, Regent of Hauven, convinces his cousin, King Hjarne of Frohagord, that Hjarne’s twelve sons are plotting to overthrow him. Filled with rage Hjarne swears that the sons must be driven away. His future child – the 13th – has to be a girl, for: ”Only she shall wear the crown”. This is how The Thirteenth Child begins – a new fairytale opera for audiences from 7 and up by the Danish composer Poul Ruders. ’The Thirteenth Child’ is the latest in a long line of renowned operas by Ruders, among those is the dystopic The Handmaid’s Tale. ’The Thirteenth Child’ is based on the dark fairytale ’The Twelve Brothers’ by the Brothers Grimm, and it contains both treason, love, murder and magic. The opera will be premiered on July 27. 2019 at Santa Fe Opera and will be given its European premiere the following spring by Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark.
The composer himself is not easily put in a box. His work contains curiously exploring and diverse music - from the explosively extrovert to the soft and inward looking. Ruders is widely acknowledged for his symphonic works. Since the highly successful opera ’The Handmaid’s Tale’ premiered in 2000, other operas have appeared like beads on a string: Kafka’s Trial (2005), Selma Jezková (based on Lars von Trier’s film Dancer in the Dark, 2010), and now 'The Thirteenth Child’. They have been produced in London, New York City, Munich, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Copenhagen.
The music in ’The Thirteenth Child’ is as magical as the fairytale itself. It unfolds all the emotions of the tale: from glittery and warm when queen Gertrude speaks of her love to dramatic and unsettling when the treacherous Drokan whispers lies in King Hjarne’s ear. The tale is told in a way so that children and youth without experience in the opera genre can keep up – and through the music hear and feel the emotions contained in the fairytale.
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