Three performances still remain for the English National Opera's new production of L'Amour de Loin, Kaaja Saariaho's opera from a libretto by Amin Maalouf.
Maalouf's libretto uses the poem "L'Amour de Loin" by Jaufré Rudel, a twelfth-century troubadour from Occitan, who fell in love with a woman in Tripoli (Maalouf has made the opposite journey in his life, in a sense, from Lebanon to France). The libretto can be read here.
For more on the fascinating relationship of troubadours to Muslim Spain and North Africa, check out María Menocal's The Ornament of the World.
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