An Opera For The Internet Age


The Dish

Geoffrey O’Brien is impressed by millennial composer Nico Muhly’s new opera, Two Boys, a whodunnit set in early 2001 and centered around the intrigue of IMs:

It is hard to imagine anything less songlike than the terse and truncated utterances of an anonymous Internet chat room, or indeed of an environment less suggestive of music than the Internet itself. The Net’s openness to an infinity of destinations seems to encourage a mood of disembodiment and isolation, at least as rendered in this opera. … Two Boys challenges itself to find music in that multiconnected zone of disconnection.

The premise here—the inexplicable stabbing of a young boy by a slightly older boy he met online—is altogether grim, an anecdote (apparently, as they say in movies, “based on a true story”) that could almost serve as a cautionary tale for parents wary of their children’s computer use. The parents here are as…

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