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The Aspern Papers

Argento, Dominick

❶When the old woman falls ill, the narrator ventures into her room and gets caught by Juliana as he is about to rifle her desk for the letters. Tina tells the lodger about her aunt's career and her sudden retirement.

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Juliana calls the narrator a "publishing scoundrel" and collapses. The narrator flees, and when he returns some days later, he discovers that Juliana has died. Miss Tita hints that he can have the Aspern letters if he marries her. Again, the narrator flees. At first he feels he can never accept the proposal, but gradually he begins to change his mind.

When he returns to see Miss Tita, she bids him farewell and tells him that she has burned all the letters one by one. The narrator never sees the precious papers, but he does send Miss Tita some money for the miniature portrait of Aspern that she gives him. James a very private man examines the conflicts involved when a biographer seeks to pry into the intimate life of his subject. James paints the nameless narrator of The Aspern Papers as, in Juliana's words, a "publishing scoundrel", but also generates sympathy for the narrator as he tries to work the papers loose from Juliana, who is presented as greedy, domineering and unappealing.

The story unwinds into the double climax of Juliana's discovery of the narrator about to break into her desk, and Miss Tita's revelation that she has destroyed the papers. Miss Tita is ashamed of her marriage proposal to the narrator, but James implies that she does exactly the right thing by depriving him of the papers.

In a way, she develops into the true heroine of the story. Some parts of this page won't work property. Please reload or try later. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.

Full Cast and Crew. Dominick Argento libretto , Henry James after. Michael Mando Teases 'Spider-Man: Share this Rating Title: The Aspern Papers 09 Sep 9. Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Edit Cast Episode cast overview: Juliana Frederica von Stade The Lodger Eric Halfvarson Olimpia John Calvin West Edit Storyline An opera based on Henry James's famous story about an adventurer in Venice trying to get hold of the secret letters of a famous, long-dead poet.

The usually glamorous Graham is transformed into a dowdy and drab cipher of a woman with mousey hair severely pulled back from her face. Such a tempestuous situation, suddenly blowing into her monotonously empty life, leaves her completely drained of what little gumption she ever had.

He is a handsome, wavy-haired, hail-and-hearty heartthrob who looks like he just tumbled out of bed. The secondary characters all do a fine job. Dean Peterson is impressive as the impresario Barelli, who tries in vain to keep his composer and leading lady from mutual self-destruction. Eric Jordan was an odd addition as a portrait artist painting Aspern, but he did a fine job. Alexander Rom's chorus was in an unusual role. Of course, most movie scores these days have a wordless chorus in the orchestrations.

When the Dallas Symphony does a concert of movie music, they always bring in a chorus. The set, by Andrew Lieberman, is an interior of a grand 19th-century villa. These few remnants are set against a Robert Wilson-like hazy sky and shoreline, created by a gray cyclorama; it is the beach where Aspern was last seen.

This concept succeeds thanks to the subtle lighting designs of Thomas Hase. Constance Hoffman successfully defines the two eras of the opera with her thoughtful dual-period costume designs. TDO revamped it with a new set and, hard as it is to believe, replaced the stellar original cast with an equally distinguished one.

Three superstars played the major roles 25 years ago: Three superstars took the stage on Friday: The results were pure magic. Argento's take on the plot is a little hard to follow if you arrive armed with only the novella in your mind. We see the characters back in , when the actual events that shape the future were taking place. We also see the bitter conclusion in engendered by those earlier events.

He moves the location from a canal in Venice to the scenic-but-glacial Lake Como for no apparent reason. However, Argento keeps the pager-turning mystery-novel style of the novella and, like James, keeps us guessing about what will happen right up to the last moments. In these changes, though, lies a bit of a quandary. In the James novella, we are asked to imagine the character of Aspern, since he is long dead by drowning, either by happenstance or by his own hand.

Though he is long gone, he dominates the novella and the lives of all other characters. Some may picture the beautiful Shelley or the tubercular and tortured Keats in the role, while others have a gaunt and pale waif in mind.

The point is that James lets each of us create our own Aspern. But with the use of flashbacks in the opera, here we see Aspern in the dashing flesh.

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The Aspern Papers is a opera in two acts with music and libretto by Dominick Argento, commissioned by The Dallas Opera. It is based on the novella The Aspern Papers by Henry James. The opera premiered on November 19,

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Information on the opera The Aspern Papers by Dominick Argento from, the web's best reference site about American opera.

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DALLAS The Aspern Papers Dallas Opera 4/12/13 T wenty-five years ago, Dallas Opera commissioned its first world premiere, The Aspern Papers, from American composer Dominick Argento. Argento's thirteenth opera, Aspern was adapted from H. Before getting into the substance of this review, let me say this. The Dallas Opera production of Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers is spectacular, but in a subtle way. (You will understand.

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The Aspern Papers is a novella by American writer Henry James, In the Dallas Opera presented the world premiere of Dominick Argento's opera The Aspern Papers. In , Les Papiers d'Aspern, scenic adaptation by Jean Pavans, staged by Jacques Lassalle. 'The Aspern Papers' is a great story, it's thematically intriguing, with an unforgettable double climax that one can discuss and rave about for hours and a tension reminiscent of a mystery story, and has fully realised, complex characters.