Here at Balladeer’s Blog I love sharing my enthusiasms. My blog posts where I provide contemporary slants to Ancient Greek Comedies to make them more accessible have been big hits over the years, so I’ve been trying it with operas, too. Previously I wrote about how Philip Wylie’s science fiction novel Gladiator could be done as an opera. Then I looked at how an opera version of the 1966 Spaghetti Western Django could be done and then an opera based on the novel Venus in Furs.
This blog post starts a look at how the original Dune novel could be done as an entire cycle of operas. If you’re not familiar with the story it is set over 20,000 years in the future, when humanity has colonized many Earth-like planets.
LANGUAGE: Spanish. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that most of my fellow English-speakers find English-language operas to be silly. The prosaic nature of the forced rhymes in a language we are well-versed in does seem to rob opera of its mystique and its grandeur.
SINGERS: Two Baritones, two Bass-Baritones, two Sopranos, one Mezzo-Soprano, four Tenors, a contralto and a Bass.
ACTS: FOUR ACTS
STORY: My fellow Dune geeks may get annoyed with this change, but remember, adaptations for staged performances have to be made very tight. I would start out at the Arrakeen Great Hall as the family and court members of House Atreides have just arrived on Arrakis/ Dune, the desert planet. All the scenes that the book covered while the Atreides family were preparing to depart their home on Caladan would instead play out shortly after their arrival on their new planetary fiefdom. Continue reading