Alone in a Room Full of Ghosts

from Tuesday, October29th of the year2013.

While watching the new opera Two Boys at the Met, I experienced something like the divided consciousness of an online multitasker, that curious fusion of total absorption and total distraction. In the floating library of cyberspace, as you read one text you are constantly assailed from the sidelines, or through links embedded in the text […]

Nico Muhly’s Ambitious ‘Two Boys’ Makes Its American Debut at the Met

from Tuesday, October22nd of the year2013.

All composers draw upon various musical styles. Very few are completely original. The challenge is to fashion the diverse influences into a distinctive voice. It is hard to describe what makes a composer’s voice authentic. But you know it when you hear it. Nico Muhly has a voice, a Muhly sound, and it came through […]

Instant Message

from Thursday, September19th of the year2013.

I’ve been fighting with the term ‘indie classical’ for a long time,” says Nico Muhly. “I feel like it’s unfair in a lot of directions, but mainly, I just don’t feel very indie. I feel quite institutional at that. My favorite thing to write is church music, and I have an opera at the Met. I have albums of sacred choral music out on Decca. That’s not indie. It’s actually the opposite of indie.”

Nico Muhly’s many opinions on polygamists, opera and idocy

from Sunday, June24th of the year2012.

The brash young composer Nico Muhly – much to the surprise of many but probably not to himself – turned out to be right. When his opera Dark Sisters was premiered in New York City in November, many believed the ever prolific Muhly (yes, even more prolific than his longtime employer Philip Glass) had rushed […]

A Missed Opportunity

from Monday, June11th of the year2012.

Is there a similarity between polygamy and same-sex marriage? Is there a common cause among the advocates of both of those controversial life styles? This opera raises that possibility, then drops the subject. It is a missed opportunity. Dark Sisters is a co-commission (and co-production) from the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and […]

Nico Muhly Takes Opera in New Directions with ‘Dark Sisters’

from Monday, June11th of the year2012.

Composer Nico Muhly is just 30, but has already has three film scores under his belt, numerous commissions with orchestras, has scored ballets for hotter than hot choreographer Benjamin Millepied. Muhly even composed a cantata to Shrunk and White’s grammar bible “The Elements of Style.” The New York based composer, who is no slouch in […]

Opera Phila’s Dark Sisters powerfully illiminates female suffering

from Sunday, June10th of the year2012.

The plight of women trapped in plural marriage—one husband with multiple wives—glowed like a firebrand on the Perelman Theater stage on Sunday. Opera Company of Philadelphia’s Dark Sisters, in co-production with Gotham Chamber Opera and the Music- Theatre Group, is OCP’s final offering of the 2011-12 season. With every artistic touch, everyspecial effect, the chamber […]

American Gothic

from Saturday, November19th of the year2011.

Nico Muhly’s new opera about women in a Mormon polygamist sect, Dark Sisters, opens with a poetic a cappella tableau: five women in nightgowns stand on the red sands of the desert, calling out to their children who have been taken from them by the government. A stormy sky swirls overhead (ironically – and perhaps […]

Crime & Punishement

from Wednesday, July13th of the year2011.

A thirteen-year-old boy is stabbed, a sixteen-year-old boy taken into custody. “Even senseless crimes makes sense,” pronounces Detective Inspector Anne Strawson. So when the analogue logic of CCTV fails, she sets out into the chaotic chatter of cyberspace, searching for the digital solution to a crime of a technological age. Unfortunately, in Nico Muhly’s debut […]

Two Boys, English National Opera

from Wednesday, July13th of the year2011.

Nico Muhly had one humble aim for his first opera. He wanted to create an episode of Prime Suspect, he told me last week. “A grand opera that functions as a good night’s entertainment.” There’s no doubt he’s achieved that. Two Boys, receiving its world premiere last night at the English National Opera, is as […]