Critic’s Choice

January 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Charles Wourinen's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," based on the children's novel by Salman Rushdie, has its Boston premiere on Saturday at Jordan Hall.

Charles Wourinen’s “Haroun and the Sea of Stories,” based on the children’s novel by Salman Rushdie, has its Boston premiere on Saturday at Jordan Hall.

When a father loses his ability to entertain the political elite in an exotic land with mysterious stories, his son sets out on a quest to restore his talent.

What follows in Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will offer in its Boston premiere this weekend, is a tale of the struggle between the powers of imagination and censorship. Based on Salman Rushdie’s children’s novel, which the author completed after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwa on his head, this two-act opera conjures memorable characters through the composer’s twelve-tone, yet lyrical, idiom.

The principal cast in Saturday’s semi-staged production will feature Heather Buck as Haroun, Stephen Bryant as his father Rashid, Brian Giebler as Iff the water genie, and Neal Ferreira as the antagonist Khattam-Shud. Gil Rose conducts.

 The performance will take place 8 p.m. Saturday at Jordan Hall. bmop.org

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