No good guys in war

-A A +A
By Alicia Solomon

This summer’s American premier at the Santa Fe Opera, “Adriana Mater,” by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, is “a woman’s story told by a woman, and . . . looks at war through a woman’s eyes.” It makes the case that in war, there are no good guys; all combatants are “thugs and murderers,” as demonstrated by Adriana’s rape, not by an enemy soldier but one from her own village. The conflict depicted is not between political entities, but between individual and even intimate human beings; and more so, between the good and evil, compassion and aggression within us all.

This is not an easy opera to watch or hear. Saariaho’s music is atonal, strongly dissonant, and haunting, very like the background tracks of the old “Twilight Zone” TV series. Some of Adriana’s, especially her opening aria, is eerily beautiful; but much of the rest is searingly violent, bereft of recognizable melody or harmony. Yet it undeniably evokes the agonizing chaos within and without, and I was drawn almost unwillingly into the story. When Adriana’s son Yonas grows up and learns the truth about his father through gossip, his rage initially falls on his mother and aunt, for lying to him all his life. “When should I have told you, when you were 4, 8, 12?” his mother asks.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday