Gore Going to the Opera
Al Gore has had no shortage of accolades since his rebirth as front man for the environment, but, true to form, Italy’s La Scala opera house is determined to take “An Inconvenient Truth” over the top. An opera of the award-winning book and movie is set to premiere in 2011, and because it’s hard to make a character out of carbon emissions, it’s very possible the production will center on a certain former vice president.
Battistelli, who until recently was composer-in-residence at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, could not be reached for comment yesterday [Thursday]. But the documentary version of An Inconvenient Truth deals not only with Al Gore’s campaign to raise public awareness of global warming but also his life story; so a biographical work, with the former vice-president as one of the leading characters, may be in the offing.
Al Gore’s concern for climate change dates from long before his defeat by George Bush in the 2000 presidential election. As a student at Harvard, more than 40 years ago, he was deeply influenced by the ideas and research of the oceanographer, Roger Revelle. He initiated the first congressional hearings on global warming, and in 1992 published a bestselling book on environmental issues.
Comparatively few recent operas have been written around contemporary themes. An outstanding exception is Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which deals with the death penalty.