The world took note in 1996 when eight climbers perished in a blizzard on their way down from the summit of Mount Everest. In 1997, the journalist Jon Krakauer, a survivor of the expedition, wrote the bestselling Into Thin Air, the first of some half-dozen books by people who were there. But how quickly we forget. In the end, the least ephemeral memorial may prove to be a work of art.
Scripted by the American librettist Gene Scheer, scored by the British composer Joby Talbot, the 75-minute Everest received its world premiere at the Dallas Opera in 2015, going on to a string of revivals in the U.S. and abroad. Now, Dallas streams this intimate epic as what may well be the world’s first “graphic novel opera,” produced by San Francisco’s chamber ensemble Opera Parallèle.