Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In my novel Bluebeard's Castle, first serialized in The Nation 1990s, I satirized Bangkok in 90s and L.A. in the 90s. One of the pivotal events in the novel is a production of Bartok's opera Bluebeard's Castle in Bangkok that features a chorus of reformed prostitutes directed by a high-society lady who turns out to be an insane serial killer. As there is no chorus in the opera, they have to go through some convoluted staging to have the young ladies of the night appear.
Later I decided that the title was a little too on the nose and the book has been reissued as The Other City of Angels. Indeed, while I'm in a huckstering mood I might as well add the link to purchase this book ... http://www.amazon.com/Other-City-Angels-S-Somtow/dp/0980014905/ Try it! Who knows? You too may want to grow up to be a transvestite serial killer.
Joking aside, we all felt that to get a Thai orchestra to play this incredible music, nothing like they had ever encountered, was an absolute thrill. Despite the almost insurmountable obstacle of trying to get the acoustics of the newly refurbished National Theatre to work (in the end we had to mike the singers) the audience was mostly unaware of the pain we'd gone through.
I thought I would share the opera with you ... the whole thing, without any of the mistakes edited out ... because it was just such an experience for everyone and I wish more people could have been there and that we could have done more than one performance.