Neuma Records, 2021
Digital download, 2021, Naviar Records NR011, available from Naviar Records, London, England, https://naviarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-present-time; https://www.naviarrecords.com.
Archimedes: A Planetarium Opera by James Dashow is an opera written to be performed in a planetarium, mixing hexaphonic audio playback and live vocalists with intricate light shows that occur regularly throughout the opera's three acts. It is a massive, complex work that took the composer nine years to complete, and, though finished in 2008, this new compact disc marks its first full release, mixed down to stereo from the 6.0 surround-sound original. The three-CD set can be found on Amazon, the Neuma Records Web site, and the composer's Web site. As the present recording clearly demonstrates, this work is a monumental achievement.
Before discussing the composition or recording quality, some context should be given to the story and its characters. The libretto, written by Cary Plotkin and Ted Weiss, centers...