Poul Ruders' award winning opera "The Handmaid's Tale" received it's US premiere on May 10.
The critics wrote:
"... the Ruders opera was the major event. Too many new operas in recent years have been well conceived but musically negligible. "The Handmaid's Tale" is so musically inventive that you get pulled in anyway" and "there are three more performances of "The Handmaid's Tale" through Sunday. Add it to the list of recent works that the Metropolitan Opera should feel obliged to present…" (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times)
"Ruders' use of "Amazing Grace" as a leitmotif is a great touch, as is his quote from Bach when Offred reaches for her daughter. His orchestration dazzles with color and pertinent detail: the use of chimes at climactic moments, the slithering percussion at the end of the Prologue, the brutal slashes from the brass -- like a slap in the face. He draws from expressionism in the manner of Alban Berg and post-minimalism in the style of John Adams, without really sounding like either of them." (Michael Anthony, Star Tribune, May 12, 2003)