ANNA KARENINA    1983      Los Angeles Opera

An Opera by IAN HAMILTON based on the novel by LEO TOLSTOY

Chase conjures up images which not only project a poetic vision but which also allow the audience to embellish that vision with romantic thoughts and fragrances that lie dormant within their minds.

The production opened at the Ebell Theater in Los Angeles in the summer of 1983. Reviews were kind, complimenting the fledgling Opera Theater of Los Angeles for its high ambitions, but in general the reviewers loathed the opera.

Chase had great reservations about the material offered him for a Russian subject by a minor English composer, but this opera allowed him to work again with Richard Pearlman, who he had collaborated with on The Turn of the Screw and Tommy. It also allowed him to embark on an adventure in Europe, to find authentic settings for the Russian scenes.

Since St. Petersberg was not only off limits but also out of budget, Chase discovered that Bavaria was the next best thing, with more neo-classic Russian structures than would be available to him in Russia. With the very gracious help from an authority in the Bavarian Historical Society in Munich Chase was able to track down deserted neo-classic train stations, a series of houses that would be residences in both Moscow and St. Petersberg. The production became a succession of moods and details that summoned up an authentic sense of place. Its last images were that of empty rooms being drained of light.