HBO’s “Game of Thrones” viewers sometimes consider the primetime hit series a soap opera, with love, hate, intrigue, deception, betrayal. However, add this iconic series, which is the top TV show in the world currently, to the classical opera realm as well. That’s right, classical.
“The show has all the drama, intrigue, and passion that operas have been providing us for centuries: seduction, obsession, deception, political manoeuvring, romance, heartbreak, incest – to name a few,” says Sung Jin Hong, artistic director and composer conductor of One World Symphony, a New York City-based company dedicated to “adventurous” programming.
Hong selected ‘Game of Thrones’ as one of three modern television programs for One World Symphony’s “Operasodes season”, which was announced on Wednesday. An “Operasode” is a term Hong coined to describe an evening of previously written musical works, both classical and contemporary, inspired by a certain television program’s themes and characters.
Fox comedy “New Girl” and “Game of Thrones” will both serve as inspirations for a program of music that will be performed at Holy Apostles Church in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in October and February, respectively. These two TV-inspired nights lead up to the premiere of Hong’s original opera Hannibal later in 2015. It is based not on the Carthaginian conqueror but the serial killer who stars in Silence of the Lambs and the current NBC hit drama bearing his name.
At the “Game of Thrones” program, which is scheduled for 1 and 2 February 2015, attendees will hear everything from Wagner (of course), Mozart and Igor Stravinsky to Annie Lennox’s Oscar-winning song Into the West from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The New Girl night focuses equally on modern and classical compositions so that Björk, Katy Perry and even Zooey Deschanel’s own music will fit next to Mozart, Puccini and Strauss. It is scheduled for 26 and 27 October.
“People fell in love and acted silly 200 years ago, and they probably did the same silly things we do now,” Hong says about the New Girl program. “Today we write pop songs, hip-hop, rap. Back then they wrote arias, symphonies, operas.”