The world premiere of Dulce Rosa, by composer Lee Holdridge and librettist Richard Sparks. From a short story by Isabel Allende.
Currently playing at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
Superb singing and a fine production make some old ideas sound new
Review by David Gregson, May 30, 2013
I absolutely cannot remember when I last experienced a major contemporary opera as stylistically retrograde as Lee Holdridge’s Dulce Rosa, now playing through June 9 at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Musically it is difficult to conceive of a more backwards looking work; and as a melodrama, nothing about it is too lurid to have brought a blush to the cheeks of the young Verdi. With various arias and duets and other set pieces, including a rather impressive sextet, Dulce Rosa could safely claim to be a neoclassical work. Despite this, it is so utterly old fashioned as to be radically progressive. For the Los Angeles Opera Off Grand to stage something this palpably un-modern amounts to a revolutionary act: it is simply astoundingly derrière-garde.