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We’ve been learning about a remarkable 1950s-era opera, “Noye’s Fludde,” the story of Noah and the ark, as we’ve slipped into rehearsals and costume-making sessions for the San Diego Children’s Choir, which is getting ready to perform on Sunday.
The opera has street cred among classical music fans because its composer, Benjamin Britten, is a 20th century giant.
Turns out the piece has street cred with filmmaker Wes Anderson, too. Anderson’s new movie, “Moonrise Kingdom” opened in theaters Friday. It uses much of the music from the opera and Anderson bases part of his plot around a performance of the children’s piece.
Here’s the trailer for the film; listen for a snatch of the opera:
The music Anderson picks for his films has fascinated his fans, including me. For “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” singer Seu Jorge performed acoustic David Bowie songs in Portuguese. “The Royal Tenenbaums” featured The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, The Ramones and The Velvet Underground.
And now, opera.
From a HoustonPress blogger:
Anderson first encountered the opera as a child attending St. Francis Episcopal Day School here in Houston with his older brothers. Meant to be performed by churches and schools, the opera helped inspire the Moonrise plot.
While Britten’s music and other classical composers course throughout the new film, Andersen apparently juxtaposes it with a bunch of country tunes by Hank Williams, Sr.
Doubtful the children’s choir will take on Hank’s canon next.
Fresh Air’s Terry Gross just last week talked with Anderson’s music director, Randall Porter, about the new film and how they come up with their musical inspirations.
Read our first installment of our ‘Embedded’ series.
San Diego Children’s Choir presents “Noye’s Fludde” by Benjamin Britten at Copley Symphony Hall downtown on June 3 at 3 p.m. Ticket information here or 619.235.0804.
I’m Kelly Bennett, arts editor for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at email@example.com or 619.325.0531.
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