Adapted from Jon Krakauer’s bestseller Into Thin Air, Joby Talbot’s opera memorializes a lethal traffic jam on the rooftop of the world. Since its premiere in Dallas five years ago, the 70-minute cliffhanger has been making the rounds of venturesome companies in the United States and abroad. The shimmering orchestration has reminded some of John Adams, while the music for voice struck at least one critic as superior to the Adams variety. That said, who can imagine singing at 29,029 feet? Even at base camp, climbers are hard put just to breathe. —M.G.
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