Critic’s Choice

Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 10:01 pm
Robert Ashley

Robert Ashley

This is a week of difficult choices for anyone craving the new: the 2015 MATA Festival opens Tuesday night at the Kitchen (and runs through April 18), while Fulcrum New Music Project brings Dutch composer Jacob TV’s multimedia opera, The News, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 17 and 18).

Most notable and welcome of all is the four-night revival of Robert Ashley’s final, posthumous opera, Crash, opening Wednesday at Roulette. Crash premiered at the Whitney Museum a year ago, with three performances, but the tiny space meant that less than 200 people got to see it. The effect of the opera has not only haunted the memory for a year, but daily grown more mysterious and compelling. Crash has a purity that makes it both the ideal first experience for anyone curious about Ashley, and one of the most direct and powerful musical dramas one will experience. It is poignant and moving testimony to Ashley’s hard-won achievement and importance as an opera composer that a new generation of musicians can now present this work to larger audiences.

Robert Ashley’s Crash is at Roulette, 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

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