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December 09, 2016

Amazon.com Show Will Feature First Aria Inspired by a Porn Star

MASSAPEQUA, L.I.—Remember Amy Fisher? Sure, her career in porn was a short one—just seven movies over five years (2007-'12)—but it hardly made a ripple in her notoriety for having shot and wounded the wife of her then-lover Joey Buttafucco at the couple's Long Island home. She served seven years in prison for first degree assault, and since she was just 17 when she committed the act, the press quickly dubbed her the "Long Island Lolita." Besides her brief career in front of the XXX cameras, Fisher has co-authored a couple of books and had three made-for-TV movies based on her life—and now, composer Nico Muhly has written an aria about her for the Amazon.com TV show Mozart In The Jungle. According to a report in The New York Times, "The aria will be a fleeting—but important—moment in the new season of Mozart in the Jungle, which combines screwball comedy and magical realism to tell the story of a fictional New York orchestra. With the musicians locked out in a labor dispute, the season begins with their music director, played by Gael García Bernal, in Venice working on the comeback concert of a Maria Callas-like diva portrayed by Monica Bellucci." Muhly, incidentally, is no slouch in the music department. He's currently working on his second opera for New York's Metropolitan Opera, and his opera Two Boys, which was based on a murder in England, debuted in June of 2011 at the English National Opera. He's written songs with Icelandic singer Bjork and has edited and conducted pieces by Philip Glass. According to the Times article, after Muhly and series writer Peter Morris (who spent weeks trying to find a fairly recent love triangle that hadn't yet been made into an opera) agreed that the new aria should be "inspired by the words leading up to 'Dido's Lament' in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas," "Mr. Muhly set it to music, conjuring a sound world of looped voices, electronic instruments and repetitive counting to try to imagine Ms. Fisher just before the shooting." "It feels like something that’s specifically operatic—that you can access that combination of emotion, motivation, motility, all those things at once, in a way that only opera can," Mr. Muhly said. "The thing I tried very hard to do was not turn it into a kind of funny, ha-ha, let’s-laugh-at-her thing." In fact, Mozart In The Jungle, based on oboist Blair Tindall's 2005 memoir of her professional career in New York, playing various high-profile gigs with ensembles and orchestras, is a well-respected series, scoring a "fresh" 95 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes review site, as well as kudos from the L.A. Times, Rolling Stone and The Hollywood Reporter—and the fact that Fisher herself won't actually be appearing in the show doesn't seem to have dampened interest one iota.

 
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