Operatic Fly to open in L.A.

An operatic adaptation of David Cronenberg’s 1986 horror film THE FLY (a remake of the 1958 film starring Vincent Price and Al Hedison) – which will makes its debut on Wednesday at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris -will arrive in the  U.S. on Septembr 7 at the Los Angeles Opera. Cronenberg himself is directing the Paris stage production. Placido Domingo is conducting the orchestra. David Henry Hwang (whose M. Butterfly was turned into a film by Cronenberg) supplied the libretto. The opera was composed by Howard Shore, who scored the film version, from which he sampled a couple of themes:

  • “I love the characters,” Shore said. “I wanted to write for a drama that I was familiar with, and that I had a certain inside view of.”


    Overall, the opera has a very different feel. The setting has been changed to 1950s America, which somehow seems more operatic than the 1980s. As Brundle, bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch has the unenviable task of performing arias in his birthday suit as he climbs in and out of the teleport machine. (Mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose is Quaife.) The retro set design is evocative of 1950s horror flicks. And there’s something thrilling about the old-school special effects — terrifically gruesome costumes, a singing teleport machine and a giant fly scaling an opera set. “It is in some ways a translation of the movie to the stage,” Cronenberg said. “But it’s its own creature.”