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WIDELY considered to be the last play William Shakespeare wrote on his own, The Tempest was not considered much of a success in the author’s time. Only in the 20th century was it really re-appraised by scholars and today it is considered one of his greatest plays.
Be fickle fortune.
Wait, that’s the wrong play. That’s a line from Romeo and Juliet while The Tempest gave us “we are such stuff as dreams are made of” and “oh brave new world”.
The play has a long history of screen adaptations, starting with the 1905 filming of the opening storm sequence for a staged version at her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
The 1908 silent film version is part of the British Film Institute’s historic archives now.
The most recent version is Julie Taymor’s filmed feature that was shot around Hawaii and Lani and featured Helen Mirren as Prospera, playing with the gender of one of the main characters.
This particular version we will see on Ster Kinekor Nouveau screens this week is the staged operatic version filmed at the New York Metropolitan Opera House.
Robert Lepage’s production recreates the interior of the La Scala opera house as the magical island venue for the otherworldly arts of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, sung by Simon Keenlyside, with Alan Oke playing Caliban.
This opera was written by contemporary British composer/ pianist/conducter Thomas Adès and marks his Met debut.
With a libretto by Meredith Oakes adapted from Shakespeare’s play, this version premièred to critical acclaim at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in February 2004.
• The Tempest screens at Ster Kinekor Nouveau. For a detailed schedule, please log on to www.sterkinekor.com