Naturally central to this project, the music strives to satisfy two essential requirements, conferring in the process both strength and originality to the present adaptation.
Past and current dramatic progression told in songs:
Whether it be the illuminating, “time machine” flashbacks, or dark soul-searching of the protaganist as he sings to imaginary “fourth wall”, the true backstory of the plot against Edmond Dantes is revealed with great dramatic effect. In following the complex character and plot development of Monte Cristo’s vengeance, as well as his acts of kindness and benevolence, and their effects on other characters throughout the story, each aria has the clear motivation to propel the drama forward, as well as introducing each new character connection as the story develops.
Historical and cultural authenticity:
Each aria reflects meticulous and intensive research regarding the historical circumstances of the novel (for example, the correct historical latin in the wedding mass of Kyrie, which would have been heard in Marseille in the 1820’s and 1830’s). Not only are time and place recalled in detail, but cultural and social origins, as well as the various places where the characters originated, are faithfully represented.
As the storyline takes us from Marseille to Paris, from Italy to Ottoman Greece and Turkey, and through Catalonia and its cultural bastion in the Marseille of the 1830s, the music follows suit with historical musical references to that area. Thus we sometimes hear, via original compositions, acknowledged influences of several composers and musical genres of the day: Chopin, Schubert, traditional French ballads children’s rhymes and fairy tales, Italian and Catalan folk songs, as well as popular music from the Balkans, with authentic instrumentation and rhythmic treatment…
Such attention to time, place and cultural identity not only ground the opera in its actual historical time period, but also lend emotional depth and reality, reflecting the actual society and the characters of the time period of Dumas. All of these facets together support the opera taking on an archetypal universality that will appeal to audiences of all ages, all over the world.