This opera is totally new, the reason you'll have heard about it is that a video promo for it has gone viral, which is a curious thing for an opera. But then this opera's story is very much for the Facebook age, although don't expect 'Facebook, The Opera'. Even the darkest moments of the 'Facebook movie' don't come close to this examination of the power of some people's internet presence.
If you've seen the three minute promo, then don't use the comedic idea of what would happen if you behaved in real life as you do online as a reason to see the opera. 'Cause while the idea of what could go wrong with this could be funny, in the case of Two Boys it's not. In this story the thing that goes wrong is that someone dies – a teenage boy. After being encouraged to masturbate to online camera for someone who he thought was a teenage girl, but who was in fact another boy.
The story is more sinister even than that though, as over months the murderer is groomed to take a life – by the person who he eventually murders. And if that storyline makes you worry for the creator of this brand new opera, Nico Muhly, then be prepared for a shock, as it's based on the true tale of a Manchester who-dunnit of the grizzliest kind.
This is opera at its most dark, dramatic and complex, but the reviewers suggest that the medium can take it. And that this new collaboration between the ENO and The Met is a breath of fresh air, while still maintaining the highest standards when it comes to the libretto - by Craig Lucas, who wrote the screenplay for 'Prelude to a Kiss', direction - by Tony Award winning Bartlett Sher, in his first foray in the UK, and score.
The other thing promo-induced ticket purchasers should be aware of is that the music is wonderfully, and heavily even, classic. There's not a synth or a keyboard in sight – except for any that might be used on set, so OK, not a keyboard to be heard.