In colder climes, nature is a force to be reckoned with. Mountain goats are well acquainted with this fundamental truth, especially lead Mountain Goat John Darnielle. The acclaimed lyricist and tunesmith warms our hearts with the world premiere of his new score in Sir Arnes Treasure with the Mountain Goats in Solo Performance. Mauritz Stiller's breathtaking 1919 silent film is set in the throes of a harsh and gorgeous Swedish winter. Three 16th-century Scottish mercenaries break out of prison, slaughter the elderly titular vicar and his family (with one notable female exception), and make off with the vicar's riches. Alas, their getaway route is blocked by a coldly indifferent Mother Nature, who has snared every ship in the grip of the frozen sea. The plot soon thickens along with the ice. Stuck for the season in the midst of understandably inhospitable locals, one of the soldiers takes a tumble with the sole survivor of his earlier brutality. A stark and ravishing melodrama, Sir Arnes Treasure blends greed, revenge, love, and betrayal into an intoxicating glug. With Darnielle adding a few ingredients of his own, keeping your balance may be a tricky proposition.
Tue., Dec. 14, 8 p.m., 2010