My review of Tree of Codes is now available on the Limelight website. I managed not to credit Massimo Furlan as the designer, and am happy to rectify that here. The way the stage looks and works – for both music and drama – is an essential part of what made this piece a success.
The stage is set like a laboratory. Musicians, dressed in white coats and various items of personal protective equipment, circulate among tables and workstations on which sit strange objects – a giant bird’s head; a mask made up of half a dozen faces; and unfamiliar-looking musical instruments. A tramp appears to be conducting. Alongside the live music are the sounds of birdsong and motorbikes. Liza Lim’s fourth opera, which has just finished a highly successful premiere run in Cologne, begins as an overwhelming, disorienting and even baffling experience. Yet by its end one’s lasting impression is of the coherence that gradually emerges and is, ultimately, sustained over 90 complex, multilayered minutes.
You can read the full review here.