BERKELEY, Calif. — The history of oratorios is populated with great heroes of religion and myth. Bach, Handel and John Adams have written about Jesus. Stravinsky took inspiration from Sophocles; Honegger, from Joan of Arc.
Rarely will you find an oratorio about fast-shifting current events.
But in “Dreamers,” an ambitious yet bloated new work that had its premiere here at Zellerbach Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, on Sunday, the composer Jimmy López and the librettist Nilo Cruz tell the stories of undocumented immigrants by elevating their experiences to the mythic realm of oratorios past.
That was their solution to the problem of writing about the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” protected by the Obama-era program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This is an ever-changing subject, caught in legislative and judicial limbo: a policy mandated in one president’s term and threatened in the next.
To avoid getting caught in breaking news, Mr. López and Mr. Cruz’s 45-minute work — presented by Cal Performances and featuring the soprano Ana María Martínez and the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus and Volti with the excellent Philharmonia Orchestra of London under Esa-Pekka Salonen — broadens the scope. The creators attempt to look beyond headlines to timeless themes of migration and optimism, beginning in the distant past and ending far beyond our moment of crisis and uncertainty.
And what better place than Berkeley? The Bay Area enclave bills itself as the first so-called sanctuary city in the United States; the university touts the support it provides through its Undocumented Students Program.
Including Mr. Salonen was serendipitous, since it was announced last fall that he would be the next music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Mr. López is a local composer with a doctorate from Berkeley, and immigrated to the United States from Peru. Mr. Cruz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Mr. López’s collaborator on the 2015 opera “Bel Canto,” arrived in this country as a refugee from Cuba.
You can’t help but be impressed by the scale and aspiration of “Dreamers.” Which is why I found myself wincing every time Mr. López’s music undercut its own potential.
He is clearly a master of writing for orchestra, of exploiting its individual sections and instruments — even the sum of its parts — for maximal effect. But his artistry doesn’t quite match his skill. The music thrills more than it intrigues; it prefers to make blunt declarations, not thoroughly persuasive arguments.
Mr. Cruz’s words, however, are poetic and poignant, reminiscent of Alice Goodman’s librettos for the John Adams operas “Nixon in China” and “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which occupy a dreamy realm between historical fact and ethereal enigma. Although Mr. Cruz took his inspiration from conversations with undocumented students at Berkeley, he describes immigration as if were a story as old as time itself: “It came with the yearn / of a leaf, three clouds, / and a woman who dreamt / she was walking / towards the edge / of the world. / And the right / to migrate / was granted.”
If only the score matched this poetry. The text often gets the treatment of an action-movie soundtrack — frenetic and epic, rarely softer than fortissimo, occasionally taking a turn for the obvious and gimmicky. At one point, Ms. Martínez is made to sing the line “Who has stopped them,” then shout angrily at the audience: “FROM BEING CHILDREN?”
But Ms. Martínez, who had a star turn in “Madama Butterfly” at the Metropolitan Opera in 2016, often rose above the quality of the music, with a sound that penetrated the orchestra and chorus without losing an ounce of its heart. Mr. Salonen and the Philharmonia musicians, too, lifted the score, bringing to this oratorio the same energy and enthusiasm they had in a virtually flawless performance of Schoenberg and Bruckner the evening before, and in Stravinsky’s “Firebird” on the second half of Sunday’s concert.
And they did sometimes have rich material to work with. The opening section comes to life slowly: at first with Ms. Martínez alone, then accompanying her with a cosmic glow as she almost ritualistically describes a time “before the divide of lands.” As she later contemplates the children swept up in the border crisis, the orchestra is tense, dissonant and unsettling.
Mr. López is most creative — and restrained — in the fourth section, “A Dreamer Who Studied Linguistics,” which begins with an eerie buzz that grows like a swarm and, as it reaches a chaotic climax, cuts to silence for an aria about what it’s like to live in silence “with the secret / that I am landless.” Although the vocal line here is lyrical and direct, stormy orchestral interludes suggest inner turmoil.
These moments, though, are short-lived. That passage about children is made unfortunately comical by Ms. Martínez’s shouting, later echoed by the choir to drive home loaded words like “killed” and “harm.” The mention of silence in “A Dreamer Who Studied Linguistics” is followed by singers whispering the word “silence.” (We got it.)
In future performances, such as one planned for the Houston Symphony, some heavy-handedness could stand to be pruned. Even with those trims, it would still be possible to get swept up in the oratorio’s glorious finale, an ultimately hopeful vision of a world where migration continues — again and again, forever, in a time beyond “lies,” “deceit” and “walls.”B:
三d毛图库总汇“【火】【影】【大】【人】，【我】【们】【一】【族】【的】【传】【染】【病】【已】【经】【控】【制】【住】【了】，【多】【谢】【火】【影】【大】【人】【的】【关】【心】。” 【宇】【智】【波】【富】【岳】【迈】【步】【走】【来】，【与】【其】【他】【几】【位】【族】【长】【打】【过】【招】【呼】【后】，【扭】【头】【看】【向】【光】【秃】【秃】【的】【工】【地】，【正】【当】【所】【有】【人】【要】【生】【气】【的】【离】【开】【时】，【王】【洪】【终】【于】【出】【现】【了】。 “【不】【好】【意】【思】【各】【位】，【刚】【刚】【我】【去】【村】【内】【的】【烤】【肉】【店】，【拉】【面】【馆】，【还】【有】【素】【食】【店】【去】【订】【餐】【了】，【难】【得】【各】【位】【赏】【光】，【今】【天】【中】【午】【就】【在】
【松】【韵】【珊】【毫】【不】【留】【情】【的】【质】【问】：“【你】【问】【过】【小】【拂】【吗】？【她】【愿】【意】【退】【出】【娱】【乐】【圈】【吗】？【她】【愿】【意】【嫁】【给】【你】，【去】【做】【你】【的】【全】【职】【太】【太】【吗】？【你】【问】【过】【她】【自】【己】【的】【意】【思】【吗】？” 【宁】【显】【舟】【说】：“【我】【相】【信】，【小】【拂】【一】【定】【会】【愿】【意】【的】。” 【娱】【乐】【圈】【有】【什】【么】【好】？ 【娱】【乐】【圈】【那】【么】【多】【打】【拼】【到】【巅】【峰】【的】【女】【明】【星】，【最】【后】【不】【都】【选】【择】【了】【退】【出】【娱】【乐】【圈】，【嫁】【入】【豪】【门】？ 【她】【们】【在】【娱】【乐】【圈】【的】【身】【份】
【茫】【茫】**，【可】【谓】【是】【寸】【步】【难】【行】，【其】【中】【的】【藤】【蔓】【和】【荆】【刺】，【简】【直】【就】【是】【一】【个】【个】【的】【陷】【阱】，【随】【时】【都】【在】【限】【制】【着】【陆】【天】【宇】【等】【人】【的】【行】【进】【速】【度】。 【好】【在】，【好】【在】【他】【们】【都】【是】【年】【轻】【力】【壮】，【且】【又】【都】【接】【受】【过】【特】【殊】【训】【练】，【这】【些】【藤】【蔓】【和】【荆】【刺】【虽】【然】【有】【些】【麻】【烦】，【倒】【也】【不】【是】【不】【能】【克】【服】。 【唯】【独】，【唯】【独】【左】【臂】【受】【伤】【的】【胡】【智】【勇】，【这】【一】【路】【走】【来】【可】【谓】【是】【冷】【汗】【淋】【漓】，【脚】【步】【也】【逐】【渐】【变】【得】三d毛图库总汇【翌】【年】6【月】【初】【一】，【李】【如】【龙】【亲】【临】【燕】【地】。 【李】【如】【龙】【在】【燕】【山】【接】【纳】【故】【燕】【宗】【室】【公】【孙】【铎】【等】【人】【的】“【民】【意】”，【继】【承】【燕】【统】，【同】【时】【坚】【辞】【帝】【号】，【设】【坛】【封】【禅】，【称】【大】【王】，【改】【国】【号】【为】【大】【魏】，【并】【派】【遣】【燕】【国】【宗】【室】【公】【孙】【闽】【南】【下】，【成】【功】【说】【服】【东】【海】【水】【师】【反】【正】。 【燕】【山】【封】【禅】【后】，【李】【如】【龙】【典】【封】【群】【臣】【百】【官】，【对】【东】【征】【扶】【桑】【有】【功】【的】【新】【军】【功】【派】【大】【加】【褒】【奖】，【并】【挑】【选】【出】【一】【批】【精】【锐】【部】【队】
“【李】【轩】，【要】【不】【要】【一】【起】。” “【好】。”【李】【轩】，【也】【就】【是】【端】【木】【景】【轩】【说】【道】，【这】【几】【个】【月】，【刷】【新】【了】【他】【的】【认】【知】。【人】【也】【变】【得】【不】【那】【么】【幼】【稚】【了】，【只】【是】【代】【价】，【很】【残】【忍】。【至】【于】【李】【轩】【这】【个】【名】【字】。 “【浅】【醉】【姐】【姐】，【我】【用】【端】【木】【景】【轩】【这】【个】【名】【字】【不】【好】【吧】。”【端】【木】【景】【轩】【看】【着】【眼】【花】【缭】【乱】【的】【任】【务】【说】【道】，【还】【算】【有】【头】【脑】【的】【说】【道】。 “【的】【确】，【端】【木】【代】【表】【的】【东】【西】【太】【多】【了】。
【也】【正】【是】【因】【为】【这】【样】，【这】【座】**【的】【人】【们】，【虽】【然】【知】【道】【会】【有】【一】【名】【大】【人】【降】【临】，【但】【却】【不】【知】【道】【陈】【宇】【的】【身】【份】。 【就】【连】【消】【息】【最】【为】‘【灵】【通】’【的】【麻】【衣】【老】【者】，【也】【只】【知】【道】【陈】【宇】【成】【为】【精】【英】【弟】【子】【的】【事】【情】，【关】【于】【宗】【门】【试】【炼】，【甚】【至】【陈】【宇】【成】【为】【亲】【传】【弟】【子】【的】【事】【情】，【都】【一】【概】【不】【知】。 【所】【以】，【他】【们】【才】【会】【猜】【测】【着】【陈】【宇】【的】【身】【份】，【现】【在】【陈】【宇】【忽】【然】【带】【着】【足】【足】【七】【个】【圣】【境】【降】【临】，【而】
【这】【两】【个】【人】【到】【底】【是】【实】【力】【强】【大】，【几】【乎】【是】【瞬】【间】【就】【稳】【住】【了】【身】【体】，【而】【反】【观】【那】【边】【的】【卡】【拉】【托】【帕】【本】，【以】【及】【鞑】【邙】【族】【的】【圣】【子】，【两】【个】【人】【入】【水】【的】【刹】【那】，【几】【乎】【是】【直】【接】【被】【冲】【的】【倒】【退】【了】【两】【三】【丈】，【然】【后】【才】【稳】【住】【身】【体】。 【这】【瞬】【间】，【原】【本】【毫】【无】【差】【距】【的】【起】【步】【点】，【就】【出】【现】【了】【因】【为】【实】【力】【导】【致】【的】【明】【显】【差】【距】。 【他】【们】【俩】【刚】【稳】【下】【身】【体】，【那】【前】【面】【两】【个】，【已】【经】【运】【转】【那】【如】【山】【似】【得】【法】