Over the last four years, the Trump administration's actions have often played out like an operatic tragedy with the president as its divo. So it only seems appropriate that composer, filmmaker and actor Henry Bloomfield has recorded a concept album for a pop opera that uses lines from the Mueller report.
On Sept. 16, Bloomfield, 31, who has worked with Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann, uploaded his Ongoing Matter to the major streaming services. He says the title of the eight-song concept album for the opera set -- which is set to a "hybrid of upbeat-offbeat pop and industrial funk" -- was inspired by "Harm to Ongoing Matter," a single line of text that's repeated on a heavily redacted page from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings. And the opera's libretto was written entirely using lines from the report, which investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, whether the Trump campaign colluded that country's government, and allegations of obstruction of justice by the president.
Bloomfield says he was initially inspired to create Ongoing Matter when coverage of the Mueller report and the events covered in it produced lines that begged to be set to music, such as “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” That bit of gangster poetry comes from an email sent to Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen by another attorney with ties to Trump legal team member (and former New York City mayor) Rudy Giuliani, after Cohen's home and office were raided by the FBI in April 2018, following a referral from Mueller. Bloomfield used the line in the first chorus of “A Drunk/Drugged Up Loser.” The song title is itself a reference to a tweet by the president shortly after the raid, in which he slagged a source in a New York Times story about the likelihood of Cohen flipping on the president.