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date: 14 October 2019

Alden, Christopherlocked

  • Peter G. Davis
  • , revised by Nicola Badolato

Extract

(b New York, NY, Sept 16, 1949). American director, twin brother of David Alden. The son of the playwright Jerome Alden and the Broadway dancer Barbara Gaye, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania and began his professional career as an actor, appearing in Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Tony Award-winning rock musical Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971). After a brief period in the Broadway musical theater, he was an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle from 1978 to 1982 in Houston, Paris, and Salzburg. Since then he has staged operas in many American cities, and has been director of production at Long Beach Opera (California) and associate director of Opera at the Academy in New York. These two smaller companies encourage innovation, and Alden has pursued an enlivening approach that has proved controversial but seldom dull; his version of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas was presented as a cautionary tale of the flesh for British schoolgirls, while Offenbach’s La vie parisienne was updated to reflect the drug culture of present-day New York. The results may sometimes be controversial, but they invariably show a questing spirit, a lively theatrical imagination, and genuine love for the work at hand. Alden made his European debut in ...

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