Finally! I got to see the much-talked about opera The Exterminating Angel at the Covent Garden, and I am glad I managed to see it, even if it was the last performance of the Royal Opera House‘s run. It premiered at the Salzburg Festival in July 2016, and, as of last Sunday, has been awarded the World Premiere Award at the Opera Awards 2017.
Composed and conducted by Thomas Adès, it is based on the 1962 surrealist film by Spanish director Luis Buñuel. I entered the auditorium not knowing what to expect, but it was highly recommended by many, including non-opera aficionados. My desire to see the opera grew and with the best seats already taken, I waited for the Friday Rush tickets to save me. I managed to get a high-up auditorium ticket for just £24.00, and I wasn’t complaining.
Going in with no background knowledge on Buñuel’s film or the composer’s intention, I hoped that the opera would tell me why a group of 12 gentlemen and glamourous socialists were stuck in a room they could not, for no ‘visible’ reason, leave. By the end of the opera, whatever meaning I was searching for didn’t seem to matter. Adès’s eclectically mesmerising music did most of the talking.