This was a fascinating experience. The Los Angeles Opera asked me to do the pre-performance lectures before each of the six performances of Howard Shore’s new opera The Fly, directed by David Cronenberg. It’s an entirely new work, although Shore and Cronenberg collaborated on the 1986 film version with Jeff Goldblum. I was called the week of the premiere, so my first (partial) glimpse of the work was actually at dress rehearsal a few hours before it opened. But Howard was very generous with his time and it was fun for me to introduce opera-goers to the saga of the short story, the ’50s film, the ’80s film, and Howard’s own journey from film score to major American opera.
I am very proud of this one. This L.A. Times story was the first mainstream-press piece to call wide public attention to the immense accomplishment of Howard Shore in composing the score for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. I delved deeply into the orchestral and choral details of the music for Fellowship of the Ring, interviewed both Shore and Jackson, and then broadened the story to include Shore’s earlier collaborators, David Cronenberg and Jonathan Demme. Of course Howard would eventually win three Oscars for his work — but this was the very beginning of a multi-year, multi-film odyssey that continues today.