Yesterday, Savidge Reads took an excited Novel Insights along to see Ian McEwan talking with composer Michael Berkeley about their collaboration on the opera For You, and discuss the relationship between music and the written word and how they work harmoniously together (excuse the pun).
Admittedly, the real draw with this event was to see Ian McEwan talk as he’s a bit of a hero for me. I’ve loved all five of the novels I’ve read by him (Atonement, The Cement Garden, The Innocent, Enduring Love, On Chesil Beach).
He’s one of those rare authors that writes books that offer a wide variety of plot, and that I trust will be excellent – which is why when I went to get my signed copy of Solar I came over a bit silly and all I could think of to say was ‘Hi Ian, how are you today’ as if I bump into him every day!
Savidge Reads made the point that as readers we so sometimes feel as if we know an author a bit because we’ve read their books and I guess writing does invite a strange sort of intimacy.
I was interested by a comment that Ian McEwan made about how he and Michael felt that they wanted to take a realistic approach to opera, in contrast to the traditional dramatic style which often contains elements of magic. I’ve been to one opera (Turandot), which I loved because of the emotional style, so it made me smile a bit to hear that McEwan, through the process of collaborating with Berkeley was converted to enjoying the over-the-top slightly less-real elements of opera. I can see how For You ( which explores the relationship between a mature, boasting artist and his youthful self, and a deluded, murderous woman) would contain elements that marry well with the big emotional style of Opera.
We both had a great night as you can see from the cheesy smiles. I will be reading my cherished signed-copy of Ian McEwan’s latest book Solar very soon and posting my thoughts of course.
Some related links:
- Ian McEwan website
- A link to For You: The Libretto @ Amazon
- A link to Solar @ Amazon (currently 1/2 price!)
- Michael Berkeley website
Do you like going to author events? What do you think music adds to the written word? Are you an Ian McEwan fan too?