Hannah Lash, a first-year Artist Diploma student in composition at the Yale School of music, saw the premiere of her 40-minute chamber opera Blood Rose this past weekend at the at the Park Avenue Christian Church in New York.
Lash describes her opera as “a chilling interpretation of the legend ‘Beauty and the Beast'” that “explores concepts of violation, loss, revenge, and identity.
Blood Rose is written for alto (Kirsten Sollek), countertenor (Eric Brenner), and string quartet (the JACK Quartet).
Lash’s website describes the opera’s take on the Beauty and the Best legend:
“Blood Rose” renders the character of Beast as the victim of defilement, evidenced by his ravaged garden. It is dawn; he has just discovered the devastation in his garden. Beauty enters: a mysteriously pure woman who sings seductively. Beast is eager to make her suffer to alleviate his own sense of rage. her blood will water his broken flowers to make them bloom again.
She bleeds, but the only flowers that are revived are those with ugly meanings: rage, revenge, mistrust. Their terror builds; Beauty’s life is draining and Beast’s fevered anger has not abated. They grow closer in their mutual suffering, desperate for hope. But the flower of hope cannot be revived. Not with Blood. Beauty and Beast become increasingly enmeshed in one another’s identities as the opera draws to its heartbreaking conclusion.
Read the New York Times preview piece.