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This release was made possible thanks to the generosity of trusts,
foundations and individuals who donated to our 2013 Opera Appeal, the other two
releases being Judith Weir's The Vanishing Bridegroom and Harrison
Birtwistle's Ga­wai­n.

The Importance of Being Earnest was jointly commissioned by the LA
Philharmonic and the Barbican in London, and received its world premiere staging
at Opéra national de Lorraine à Nancy in 2013.

Two further productions were staged the same year at the Royal Opera House
Linbury Theatre, and on tour with NI Opera.

The Importance of Being Earnest received a 2013 RPS Award for Large-Scale
Composition.

'The world now has something rare: a new genuinely comic opera and maybe
the most inventive Oscar Wilde opera since Richard Strauss's Salome more than a
century ago.'

The Los Angeles Times Gerald Barry's riotous opera brings out the savagery
beneath the genteel Edwardian manners of Wilde's play: its score includes
gunshots, whistling and speaking from the orchestral players, marching boots,
and the smashing of 40 dinner plates, while its characters - among them Lady
Bracknell sung by a bass and Cecily by a stratospheric soprano - shout at
each other through gales, quote Schiller's Ode to Joy (in German) and make
polite conversation through megaphones.

'It's all completely bonkers, but I went in grumping and came out
grinning. What more can you ask?' The Telegraph

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  • Store location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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