Dec 02, 2013
By Scott Walker
The Canadian Opera Company will announce today it has commissioned its first new opera in more than a decade.
Songwriter Rufus Wainwright is composing the music to Hadrian, about the Roman Emperor who built Hadrian’s Wall. The opera will concentrate on Hadrian’s homosexual relationship with a Greek named Antinous, whose untimely death drove Hadrian insane.
Playwright Daniel MacIvor will write the libretto. The two were brought together by director Atom Egoyan.
When asked about the risk of producing new work, which will cost at least a million dollars, COC General Director Alexander Neef says, “We believe in doing new work. It’s part of who we are as a company.”
Hadrian will debut in 2018. It’s the first original opera by the COC since The Golden Ass in 1999.