The Invention of Morel | Studebaker Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Valerie Vinzant

Valerie Vinzant

Liz Lauren

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 26 2017
Price: $39-$125
chicagooperatheater.org
This 90-minute fever-dream opera, composed by rock drummer Stewart Copeland (of the Police), with a libretto by Copeland and Jonathan Moore (who’s also directing), is having its world-premiere run at Chicago Opera Theater, which commissioned it. Based on a 1940 science fiction novel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, it’s the story of a fugitive hiding on a remote island that turns out to be occupied by a mysterious group of tourists (including a beautiful woman with whom he falls desperately in love). Intensely psychological, philosophical, interior, and circular, it’s hard stuff to stage, but the first-person narrator of the novel has been cleverly split into two lead parts (performed to perfection by could-be-twins Andrew Wilkowske and Lee Gregory). The tight-yet-right set includes the best use of video I've seen, and the instrumental music, played by Fulcrum Point New Music Project under the baton of COT general director Andreas Mitisek, is rich, driven, and more than dramatic enough to compensate for a mostly declamatory (though occasionally haunting) vocal score. —Deanna Isaacs

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