By Aaron Keebaugh
In 1935, only a few months after he had settled in California, Arnold Schoenberg met with famous MGM producer Irving Thalberg about the possibility of writing music for films. But what looked to be the beginnings of a fruitful relationship quickly fizzled when Schoenberg, after scoring parts of The Good Earth, demanded total control of the soundtrack.
That meeting is the point around which Tod Machover’s latest opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood, turns. Presented in its world premiere by the Boston Lyric Opera at the Emerson Paramount Center Wednesday night, this enticing historical drama explores the conflict between maintaining artistic integrity and an artist’s longing to reach a wider audience in order to shape a better world.