David Lang’s new work Love is viewed as an epic—but beautiful—failure in David Lang’s latest operatic mutation, love fail. Performed by transcendentally austere female vocal quartet Anonymous 4, Lang’s libretto stitches together marginal musings from medieval versions of the tale of Tristan and Isolde—as related by Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, and Thomas of Britain—with the less linear, and far wittier, commentaries of writer Lydia Davis. Lang, who won a Pulitzer in 2008 for The Little Match Girl Passion (a mash-up of Bach and Hans Christian Andersen), hasn’t specifically characterized love fail as a gloss on Roland Barthes’s famous discourse. But when it comes to the mystical gap between idealized and everyday passion, especially when enhanced by looming texts and facial imagery, he’s still the ghost in the room.
Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m., 2012
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 5, 2012