Knussen’s ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ in Brazil

wild things v sc-56.jpg

Where the Wild Things Are, the enchanting first part of Knussen’s double bill of fantasy operas written with Maurice Sendak, receives its Brazilian premiere in October, with six performances at the Teatro São Pedro, São Paulo.

The opera tells the story of Max, a boy yearning for adventure, who runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king. Marinated in French and Russian opera, and containing allusions to Debussy’s La boîte à joujoux and the Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, the 40-minute work peaks in a boisterous ‘danse générale’ (à la Borodin or Ravel) as Max and the Wild Things dance the Wild Rumpus (a dazzling 4-minute orchestral gem that also exists as a stand-alone concert work).