Ice Break, The
- Geraint Lewis
Opera in three acts by Michael Tippett to his own libretto; London, Covent Garden, 7 July 1977.
Tippett’s fourth opera, commissioned by Covent Garden and composed between 1973 and 1976, is a study of the imprisoning character of stereotypes. The wide-ranging scenario encompasses conflicts of race and generation in particular. Although the location is not specified, it is clear that much of the opera arose directly from Tippett’s fascination with the USA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At the same time he identifies with persecuted Russian writers, so that his Lev (bass) is an exiled poet who has spent 20 years in a concentration camp. He flies to the ‘new world’ to join his wife Nadia (lyric soprano) and their son Yuri (baritone)....