The history of Bohuslav Martinu’s Greek Passion (1957) is itself full of drama. The rejection by Covent Garden of the original work led Martinu to create the Zurich version, which was first performed in 1961, two years after his death. The original version was reconstructed in 1999 and premiered as the so-called ‘London’ version at the Bregenz Festival.
In 1961, the New York Times wrote “above all, it is the music that makes this opera memorable.[nbsp] ... although the harmonies, rhythms and melodies are ‘conventional’, the way Martinu employs them is often imaginative and creative.”
The Teatro Massimo in Palermo is showing a new production of the London version (29 Apr–8 May. Asher Fisch conducts.