World Premiere Recording of Corigliano’s ‘The Lord of Cries’

World Premiere Recording of Corigliano’s ‘The Lord of Cries’
Pentatone and BMOP, 'The Lord of Cries' Box set

Dracula promises that, no matter how deliciously we’ll let them scare us for a time, our animal urges can be, literally, compartmentalized and slain with the right stake to the heart. The Bacchaecounters that these urges will always be with us — that they are us — and all we can do is give them some of what they want, lest they rebel and take all we have. This insight convinced me that this opera needed a civilized, triadic, “surface” score through which you could hear, more and more, an obsessive, ecstatic music of truth. - John Corigliano

Pentatone, together with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose, releases the world premiere recording of The Lord of Cries, an opera by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo. The recording is available now as a double CD box set, and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.

The Lord of Cries, John Corigliano's first and only opera since his collaboration with William M. Hoffman on The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), explores our deepest desires and what librettist Mark Adamo calls our “need to blame and attack others for what we can neither resist, nor accept, in ourselves.” To do this, Adamo combined The Bacchae of Euripides with Bram Stoker’s Dracula to create a streamlined tale of horror in which duty battles yearning in each character’s heart. Corigliano’s score effectively conveys the tense atmosphere of Dionysus/Dracula character (premiered by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo) preying on London's women, and the quartet writing for him and the “three strange sisters” is particularly otherworldly. The Lord of Cries was originally commissioned by Santa Fe Opera and premiered July 17, 2021.


Critical Acclaim for The Lord of Cries

Spellbinding… Librettist Mark Adamo and composer John Corigliano blend Thebes with Victorian London in this mashup of Euripides’ The Bacchae and Bram Stoker’s Dracula; and The Lord of Cries is two and a half hours of brilliantly sustained horror. Corigliano scored Ken Russells’ film Altered States (1980) and he certainly builds on that achievement here with music that evokes an eerie, frightening underworld; but this is a largely tonal, melodic score that seizes the listener and doesn’t let go…As Dionysus/Dracula, Anthony Roth Costanzo finds a perfect fit for his otherworldly, almost disembodied countertenor; and he has a full slate of excellent singers in support. Gil Rose conducts the BMOP and Odyssey Opera chorus in this complex score with firm control and a strong feeling for drama and dread.

Opera Magazine, London


Four stars…From Orpheus through Idomeneus to the Trojans, Greek mythology has proved a fertile ground for opera. Mark Adamo therefore follows a well-trodden path with his retelling of Euripides’ The Bacchae…and promptly kicks up the ground by transplanting characters from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It takes a bold composer to set such a story, and John Corigliano is more than up to the task…Further staging of this intriguing 2021 work is eagerly awaited.

BBC Music Magazine


A page-turner; a substantial musico-dramatic journey…The Lord of Cries exists in a magic-realist world that leaves you truly unable to guess what’s next. John Corigliano’s sure dramatist’s hand is at work here; The Lord of Cries is full of out-of-left-field sound imagination, with elemental forces juxtaposed against bourgeois life that make the latter seem all the more trivial…A Pulitzer, Grammy, and Oscar winner, he is now 85, and one feels lucky that Corigliano has returned to opera at the height of his powers.



Breathtaking … BMOP and Gil Rose present the world premiere recording of The Lord of Cries, a breathtaking opera by composer John Corigliano and librettist Mark Adamo; Corigliano’s return to opera for the first time since his Grammy-winning The Ghosts of Versailles. The piece explores the power of sexual desire and humans’ need to blame others for that which they can neither deny nor accept in themselves.

Van Magazine


Corigliano’s triumphant return to opera…It’s precisely the mashup with Greek theatre that has allowed librettist Mark Adamo to resurrect vampiric legends so brilliantly; in response to the libretto’s blend of paganism and Gothic horror, Corigliano has composed a score that radiates eerie, nocturnal energy… A disturbing parable that ranks among the finest American operas in recent memory.

San Francisco Classical Voice


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