Music: Brutalit and Bathos in Sante Fe

Hans Werner Henze's opera We Come to the River is stunning

It is an astonishing theatrical tour de force, sprawling across three stages and accompanied by three orchestras. The essentially atonal score nevertheless embraces a variety of styles, including a show-stopping military march. The libretto is one of the harshest antiwar tracts in all of opera, a soldier's tale of unrelieved brutality that opens in a battlefield slaughterhouse and ends with violent death in a madhouse.

Technically dazzling, emotionally searing, although ideologically bathetic, Hans Werner Henze's We Come to the River has just been given its American premiere by the Santa Fe...

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