MUSIC: The Mating Game

A sparkling new opera based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses delivers a morality tale about the machinations of love

From Mozart's Don Giovanni to Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the figure of the libertine, that politically incorrect swine, has swaggered provocatively through 200 years of operatic history. Cads, bounders and rakehells abound onstage: one thinks not only of the lecherous Don and Tom Rakewell but of Nerone, Pinkerton and Eugene Onegin as well -- moral reprobates who give hardly a second thought to the consequences of their actions.

Now comes the composer-librettist team of Conrad Susa and Philip Littell, who have seized upon Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's 18th century epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses as a fitting subject for an opera....

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