Hey, Dr. Bill... perhaps we can settle up with this. Here's the composer's program note from the Opera which is a thorpough and intriguing look at the process of adapting a pre-existing work as an operatic production, and I recommend any opera enthusiasts to read this for that in itself. But here is the point I was trying to make, Good Doctor, straight form the composer's lips:With first-time librettist, the late Henry Butler, an experienced actor and stage director, it was surprisingly easy to abandon the play's repetitive hyperbole. We retained the dramatic structure of the work and the nature of its characters, but supplanted its verbal excesses with direct, minimal language. The libretto became the play paraphrased, reduced to its essence, the excluded text being replaced in another way. It would become the dimension that eluded O'Neill: musical poetry.
The essence of an operatic work is, of course, the musical treatment including the lyrics. A broader, more profound search takes place when the imagination is so fired by the drama that there is no resisting the urgency to re-interpret it musically. The aim is not to replace a work: O'Neill's Electra does not replace The Oresteia, and my opera does not replace the O'Neill play - neither is Shakespeare's Othello replaced by Verdi's equally masterful opera. But envisioning the larger canvass still leads to the critical question: can one add a compelling dimension to the original work? If not, does the same story retold in another medium need to exist?
--both quotes Marvin David Levyhttp://www.mourningbecomeselectra.com/Background.htm
Thanks, BTW, for bringing this work to my attention, Dr. Bill...I look forward to seeing a production of it someday. The composer's essay demonstrates his integrity...must've been an intriguing production. Any opera aficionadoes out there familiar with Levy's work, or this particular piece?