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Poul Ruder's 'Thirteenth Child' is an opera of expressive breadth and depth / SHARPS & FLATIRONS

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Santa Fe Opera has five operas in production this summer, continuing through Aug. 24 including; the world premiere of The Thirteenth Child by Poul Ruders.

Danish composer Poul Ruders has written several operas on dark subjects-Kafka's Trial, Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale and and Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark-but he wanted something different for his fifth opera. He turned to fairy tales, finding a little known story that fit his aim.

The Thirteenth Child, receiving its world premiere production at Santa Fe this summer, is based on a story by the brothers Grimm, and it takes Ruders in a different direction than those earlier works. The combination of fairy-tale magic, lightly comic moments and a happy ending have elicited a score marked with lyric elements, glowing, consonant orchestral interludes, generally light textures and one delightfully humorous male ensemble for the 12 older brothers of the title character. The Thirteenth Child is Poul Ruder's fifth opera, not his sixth.   Photo by Ken Howard.

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