This July, the London Daily Telegraph published a piece profiling the legacy of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In the piece, the Telegraph mentioned the upcoming opera based on Conrad’s novella by Tarik O’Regan, which is currently in workshop with AOP.
“Like some deeply bruised cloud hovering thunderously above a summer picnic, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness threatens us still, more than a century since its publication.
Few works have entertained, excited and troubled minds as much. It has inspired music – including a forthcoming opera by Tarik O’Regan – and spawned numerous radio, theatre, film and television adaptations, the most famous being Apocalypse Now. TS Eliot’s The Hollow Men did more for the work’s projection towards a readership, quoting the phrase: “Mistah Kurtz, he dead.” It infused Ronan Bennett’s The Catastrophist and haunts both John le Carré’s The Constant Gardener and The Mission Song. VS Naipaul and Graham Greene were swept up by it, as were Nick Davies in writing Dark Heart along with Sven Lindquist’s Exterminate All the Brutes, Michaela Wrong’s In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, and Tim Butcher’s Blood River. This weekend, at the Festival Hall in London, there will be two five-hour readings of the book, complete with piano accompaniment.
What is it about Heart of Darkness that has this horrid hold on our consciousness?”