33 U.S. Opera Companies to Feature American Operas over the Next Two Seasons
During the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons, 33 U.S. opera companies both large and small and from coast to coast will perform works - including nine world premieres - by American composers, announced OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. With subjects ranging from classic novels and plays to recent political history and powerful love stories, these works offer enormous variety, reflective of the opera activity in the United States today.
Companies presenting works by American composers include The Atlanta Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Center City Opera Theater (Philadelphia, PA), Chicago Opera Theater, Cincinnati Opera, Eugene Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Florentine Opera (Milwaukee, WI), Florida Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Greensboro Opera, Long Beach Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Music-Theatre Group (New York, NY), Nashville Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Idaho, Opera Memphis, Opera New Jersey, Opera Roanoke, Opera San José, Opera Southwest (Albuquerque, NM), Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Portland Opera, San Diego Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Tacoma Opera, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and Virginia Opera. This list will continue to grow as additional productions by American artists currently in the planning stages for the 2011-2012 and future seasons are announced in the coming months.
"Over the last two decades, an American opera repertoire has become firmly established and American composers continue to have a tremendous impact on our art form. We are delighted to see their work being performed on stages of all sizes throughout the United States," stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. "We are particularly pleased to highlight this tremendous vitality during National Opera Week - a time when companies across the country are introducing opera to new audiences in fun, accessible ways."
National Opera Week began on October 29 and runs through November 7, 2010. More information on activities provided by the more than 100 participating organizations may be found at www.operaamerica.org/now.
In conjunction with National Opera Week, on October 22, the National Endowment for the Arts bestowed our nation's highest honor on four American artists for their outstanding achievements in opera: Soprano Martina Arroyo, General Director David DiChiera, Composer Philip Glass and Music Director Eve Queler. For more information about the NEA Opera Honors, visit www.neaoperahonors.org.
OPERA America has a long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and presentation of operas by North American artists, through such programs as The Opera Fund. Since the program's inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works. OPERA America has also encouraged second productions of new works by providing grants to help offset the cost of reviving or re-mounting productions.
For additional information about the operas below, visit OPERA America's North American Works Directory at www.operaamerica.org/nawd. The Directory is the online hub for data on over 1,200 North American operas, with information on vocal/musical forces, musical style, length, source materials, synopsis contact information and premiere dates and locations. Each opera's Directory record also includes information on past and future performances produced by OPERA America's organizational members.
THE ATLANTA OPERA (Atlanta, GA) | www.atlantaopera.org
Porgy and Bess (George Gershwin)
February - March 2011
Set in Charleston, Porgy and Bess depicts the people of Catfish Row struggling with hard work and tough times and yearning for a better life and great love. Porgy and Bess features some of the most popular tunes in opera including the lullaby "Summertime." Based on DuBose Heywood's first novel and composed by the forever-young George Gershwin, this production features the company debut of Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. This new production will use innovative high-definition projection technology developed by The University of Kentucky's Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments. The technology, originally developed for a non-theatrical use, incorporates projections and screen units that will take the place of traditional scenery and sets.
BOSTON LYRIC OPERA (Boston, MA) | www.blo.org
The After-Image (Richard Beaudoin) - World Premiere
Boston Lyric Opera has commissioned an original prologue by American composer Richard Beaudoin for its February 2011 Opera Annex production of Ullmann's The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Quits. Titled The After-Image, the 15-20 minute work, based on poetry by Rilke, Rückert and Talbot, is for mezzo-soprano, bass, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano and will be a world premiere. Ullmann's rarely performed opera, a satire on dictatorship, was written and rehearsed in Terezin, a concentration camp during World War II. Seldom produced due to its short length, the opera will be fully staged with the new prologue at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in Boston's South End February 1-6, 2011. Details about The Emperor of Atlantis, or Death Quits are available at http://www.blo.org/2010-2011_annex.html.
CENTER CITY OPERA THEATER (Philadelphia, PA) | www.operatheater.org
Danse Russe (Paul Moravec) - World Premiere, Il Postino (Daniel Catán) and Slaying the Dragon (Michael Ching) - World Premiere
April 2010 - June 2012
Between April 2010 and June 2012, Center City Opera Theater (CCOT) will be producing three operas whose local variety must (at least in some part) be attributed to the eclectic heritages of their American composers. In April 2011, in conjunction with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, CCOT presents the world premiere of Pulitzer prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout's Danse Russe, a vaudeville-style one-act tracing Stravinsky's conception for The Rite of Spring. In November 2011, CCOT presents the east coast premiere and second ever production of Mexican-American composer Daniel Catán's Il Postino, a Spanish-language opera adapted from the popular Italian film. Finally, in June 2012 CCOT presents the world premiere of Michael Ching's Slaying the Dragon, a tale of tolerance inspired by historical events surrounding the hate campaign of Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, Larry Trapp.
CHICAGO OPERA THEATER (Chicago, IL) | www.chicagooperatheater.org
Death and the Powers (Tod Machover)
Developed at the MIT Media Lab, in creative partnership with Chicago Opera Theater and Harvard's American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.), this groundbreaking production will use specially designed technology including a chorus of robots, a Musical Chandelier, and a set that expressively "comes alive." The libretto by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky explores what we leave behind for our world and our loved ones, as told through an eccentric patriarch, Simon Powers, and his family and friends. The music is by Tod Machover, whose genre-bending work is celebrated for its arching melodic lines, richly nuanced textures, and propulsive rhythms. Tony Award-nominated director Diane Paulus returns for her eighth production with Chicago Opera Theater.
CINCINNATI OPERA (Cincinnati, OH) | www.cincinnatiopera.org
A Flowering Tree (John Adams)
June - July 2011
Based on an Indian folktale, A Flowering Tree recounts the touching story of a young woman who magically morphs into a tree, undergoing myriad transformations, to help her poor family and eventually find true love. A company premiere, Cincinnati Opera's production stars the "vocally luminous young soprano" (The New York Times) Jessica Rivera as Kumudha, a role she originated at the work's Vienna premiere. Tenor Noah Stewart brings his "polished, weighty lyric voice" (Opera Today) to the role of the Prince, and bass-baritone Eric Owens, commended by The New York Times for his "burnished and powerful voice," is the Narrator. Joana Carneiro conducts the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
EUGENE OPERA (Eugene, OR) | www.eugeneopera.com
Nixon in China (John Adams)
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's historic visit to the People's Republic of China, a pivotal event in the diplomatic history of our era. To commemorate this event (and to mark the company's 35th anniversary) Eugene Opera plans a new production of Nixon in China by John Adams, the opera which portrays U.S.-China relations at the time of Nixon's 1972 trip. Adams' powerful music makes the opera one of the most accessible pieces of our time. Eugene Opera's new production is intended to be a contemporary rethinking of this compelling work. The opera will be conducted by Eugene Opera's new Music Director, Andrew Bisantz, and directed by Sam Helfridge. The opera will be performed in the context of a "Celebration of 40 Years of U.S.-China Relations," a series of educational events jointly planned and sponsored with the Confucius Institute of the University of Oregon.
FARGO-MOORHEAD OPERA (Fargo, ND) | www.fmopera.org
The Stoned Guest (PDQ Bach)
The 2011 Fargo-Moorhead Opera Winter Gala will feature a performance of The Stoned Guest by renowned composer (and Fargo native) PDQ Bach. The hilarious opera, which features esteemed characters such as Carmen Ghia, Donna Ribalda and the famous Bargain-Counter Tenor Don Octave, was "discovered" by Peter Schikele in his alter ego as PDQ Bach during his tenure at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople. This opera, which raises its comic head in Fargo about every 15 years, will be performed at the Hilton Garden Inn on January 29, 2011.
One False Move (Susan Kander)
It turns out that high-school girls really are mean to each other. This opera, based on a "Mean Girls" story of two best friends ripped apart by bullying and the desire to be popular, will be performed by a cast of talented regional high-school girls in their Fargo-Moorhead Opera debuts. We know you'll be amazed by their performances as they draw you into the all-to-real world of their daily lives. There will be several performances during the school day for middle school students with one performance at 7:30 p.m. on February 10, 2011 at Moorhead High School open to all.
FLORENTINE OPERA (Milwaukee, WI) | www.florentineopera.org
Rio de Sangre (Don Davis) - World Premiere
This October, the 77-year-old Florentine Opera Company unveils Rio de Sangre, a powerful portrait of love amidst war. Featuring a vibrant score by Emmy Award-winning composer Don Davis, this spellbinding drama is sung in Spanish with English translations above the stage. The new American grand opera depicts the perils faced by a newly appointed Latin American dictator as he wrestles with the conflicting influences of idealism and pragmatism, in an unflinching examination of the possibilities that arise when political power is attained - and the tragic consequences of the corruption that often follows.
FLORIDA GRAND OPERA (Miami, FL) | www.fgo.org
Cyrano (David DiChiera)
Cyrano is based on Edmond Rostand's beloved play, Cyrano de Bergerac, and DiChiera's romantic, melodic score perfectly enhances this tragic story of star-crossed would-be lovers. Opera Canada reviewed it as "...visually grand, dramatically absorbing and musically captivating." Florida Grand Opera General Director Robert M. Heuer stated, "As we are co-producers of Cyrano, it was a thrill to see the standing ovation it received in Detroit at its premiere [in 2007], and I'm very excited about presenting this new opera to South Florida audiences. I am sure it will be received here with equal enthusiasm."
FORT WORTH OPERA (Fort Worth, TX) | www.fwopera.org
Hydrogen Jukebox (Philip Glass)
May - June 2011
As part of an ongoing effort to support American composers, Fort Worth Opera is producing Hydrogen Jukebox by composer Philip Glass during its 2011 festival. Based on the work "Howl" and other poetry by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Hydrogen Jukebox offers a portrait of America that covers the 1950s through the 1980s. Its content ranges from the highly personal poems of Ginsberg to his reflection on social issues: the anti-war movement, the sexual revolution, drugs, Eastern philosophy and environmental awareness. Directed by Lawrence Edelson and conducted by Steven R. Osgood, it will be performed in a small, black box theater and will integrate the audience with the performers.
GOTHAM CHAMBER OPERA (New York, NY) | www.gothamchamberopera.org
Music-Theatre Group (New York, NY) | www.musictheatregroup.org
OPERA COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA (Philadelphia, PA) | www.operaphila.org
Dark Sisters (Nico Muhly) - World Premiere
November 2011 (New York) | June 2012 (Philadelphia)
Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group and the Opera Company of Philadelphia have co-commissioned and will co-produce a new American opera, Dark Sisters, composed by Nico Muhly with a libretto by Stephen Karam, conducted by Neal Goren and directed by Rebecca Taichman. Dark Sisters follows one woman's dangerous attempt to escape her life as a member of the FLDS Church (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints), a sect that split from mainstream Mormonism in the early 20th century largely because of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) Church's renunciation of polygamy. Set against a red-earthed landscape filled with revelations, dark prophets and white temples stretching towards heaven, Dark Sisters charts one woman's quest for self-discovery in a world where personal identity is forbidden.
GREENSBORO OPERA (Greensboro, NC) | www.greensboroopera.org
Chicks (Emma Younts) - World Premiere
Greensboro Opera presents Chicks, a short opera for young audiences. Authored by current Guilford County fifth grader and American Emma Younts, Chicks was the winning entry of Greensboro Opera's 2010 Write Your Own Opera! contest last June. The contest was open to all rising Guilford County fourth graders. Collaborators of Chicks are Americans David Holley (librettist), director of University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G) Opera Theatre; and UNC-G School of Music, Theatre and Dance Composition Faculty, Dr. Mark Engebretson (composer). Greensboro Opera and Guilford County Schools partner to premiere Chicks as part of "Opera at the Carolina" performances on February 15, 16, 17, 2011 at the Carolina Theatre, downtown Greensboro, NC, before 6,000 Guilford County fifth graders.
LONG BEACH OPERA (Long Beach, CA) | www.longbeachopera.org
Akhnaten (Philip Glass)
Long Beach Opera will stage the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass' Akhnaten. Presented at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Terrace Theater, this stunning opera follows the rise and fall of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaten and his grand vision for a new religious and cultural order. Akhnaten completes the Glass Trilogy of "portrait" operas which began with Einstein on the Beach followed by Satyagraha. About the trilogy, Glass has stated that he saw "Einstein as the man of science, Gandhi - the man on politics; Akhnaten - the man of religion.... These themes (science, politics, religion) are, to an extent, shared by all three and they inform our ideological and real worlds."
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (David Lang)
Los Angeles-born, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang's haunting opera, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, will have its Southern California premiere. Originally composed for the Kronos Quartet with a libretto by playwright Mac Wellman, this crossover piece premiered at San Francisco's Theater Artaud in 2002. Based on Ambrose Bierce's one-page story of the same name, the plot centers around a slave owner in the pre-Civil War American South who walks across his field and disappears in plain view of his family, his neighbors and his slaves, forever altering the relationships among them. David Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's famous music festival Bang on a Can and a major contributor to the music performed by the Kronos Quartet. His unique style has been described as a combination of modernism, minimalism and rock.
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA (New York, NY) | www.metopera.org
Nixon in China (John Adams)
Acclaimed director and longtime Adams collaborator Peter Sellars makes his Met debut with this groundbreaking 1987 work, an exploration of the human truths beyond the headlines surrounding President Nixon's historic 1972 encounter with Mao and Communist China. Baritone James Maddalena stars as Nixon, a role he created to widespread acclaim. Nixon in China, Sellars says, "shows you what opera can do to history, which is to deepen it and move into its more subtle, nuanced and mysterious corners."
NASHVILLE OPERA (Nashville, TN) | www.nashvilleopera.org
The Snow Globe (Skip Ewing)
Psychological twists and enchanted circumstances abound as a young woman suffering from a traumatic injury caused by a horseback riding accident is now constrained to a wheelchair. Unable to express herself, an enchanted snow globe offers her the promise of a world in which she can transcend the circumstances of her limitations. In order to be with her true love she must choose to leave her family and the "real world" by midnight Christmas Eve. Beautifully memorable themes and lyric poeticism intertwine to weave a dynamic tapestry of emotion, romance, holiday merriment and hope. Ewing's unforgettable melodies bring to life a rich plot beckoning compassion, suspense, elation and joy. The Snow Globe promises to be a new holiday classic.
NEW YORK CITY OPERA (New York, NY) | www.nycopera.com
A Quiet Place (Leonard Bernstein)
October - November 2010
Acclaimed director Christopher Alden stages a new production of the final stage work of America's greatest theater composer, Leonard Bernstein. Never before seen in New York, this tonally daring musical drama incorporates his popular one-act satire Trouble in Tahiti to create an emotionally searing and deeply moving parable of alienation, strife and reconciliation found in a modern, middle-class American family.
Séance on a Wet Afternoon (Stephen Schwartz)
April - May 2011
New York City Opera presents the New York premiere of the first opera by Stephen Schwartz, the Oscar and GRAMMY Award-winning composer of hit shows Wicked, Godspell, Pippin and numerous Disney films. Based on the novel by Mark McShane and the noir film adaptation of 1964, this psychological thriller stars the mesmerizing Lauren Flanigan as an ambitious psychic who devises an elaborate kidnapping scheme to win the fame she desperately craves.
OPERA IDAHO (Boise, ID) | www.operaidaho.org
Our Town (Ned Rorem), The Ballad of Baby Doe (Douglas Moore), Susannah (Carlisle Floyd), The Tender Land (Aaron Copland) and Dead Man Walking (Jake Heggie)
A lyrical ode to life in small-town America, the October 2010 production of Our Town is also the company's launch of its Made in the USA series of American operas. One component of the strategic plan and vision rolled out by Executive Director Mark Junkert last year, the series is intended to expose Idaho audiences to the traditional new and often edgy operas written by American composers. Each year for the next five seasons, Opera Idaho will produce an American opera and set it in Idaho. To determine which opera will be next, Opera Idaho had set up an online voting system through which the public voted for their choice for $1 per vote. The winner was The Ballad of Baby Doe, which will be produced in the 2011-2012 season.
OPERA MEMPHIS (Memphis, TN) | www.operamemphis.org
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Michael Ching) - World Premiere
January - February 2011
Maestro Michael Ching puts an innovative twist on an old classic in the world premiere of his new operatic version of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The production will be the first attempt by a North American Opera Company at a full-length mainstage opera performed entirely a cappella. Opera Memphis joins forces with Playhouse on the Square to mount a production exciting to both the opera lover and avid theatergoer alike. The production will feature opera singers, singing actors and a "vocal orchestra" made up of Memphis' favorite a cappella group DeltaCappella and their newly formed sister group RIVA. Performed in English using the original Shakespearean text.
OPERA NEW JERSEY (Princeton, NJ) | www.opera-nj.org
The Consul (Gian Carlo Menotti)
In celebration of Gian Carlo Menotti's centenary in 2011, Opera New Jersey is proud to present his spellbinding opera The Consul. His first full-length opera, often considered his finest, premiered in March 1950 at the Schubert Theater in Philadelphia and won the Pulitzer Prize later that year. Lina Tetriani will star as Magda, a role she performed to rave reviews in Chautauqua, prompting Opera News to say "Tetriani is an excellent artist, providing a winning dramatic fulcrum." The New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Joel Revzen who has a long history with the work, including the 1998 Newport Classic recording, and a production at WNO alongside Maestro Menotti. Acclaimed stage director Michael Unger will bring his experience with both theater and opera to this production. Opera New Jersey will present two performances at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton as part of its summer season during July 2011.
OPERA ROANOKE (Roanoke, VA) | www.operaroanoke.org
Orpheus and Euridice (Ricky Ian Gordon)
Opera Roanoke's season finale is a concert entitled Mother's Day Serenade, May 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm. The centerpiece is Ricky Ian Gordon's 21st-century update of the ancient myth Orpheus and Euridice. Celebrated soprano Elizabeth Futral sings Euridice, the role she created for the work's Lincoln Center premiere. Joining her is clarinetist Todd Palmer, who partnered her as Orpheus in that premiere. Also from the original cast is pianist Melvin Chen. Maestro Steven White leads the cast and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in the East Coast premiere of the string orchestra version of Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice.
OPERA SAN JOSÉ (San José, CA) | www.operasj.org
Anna Karenina (David Carlson)
Opera San José proudly launches its 27th anniversary season with the West Coast premiere of Anna Karenina, an American opera by composer David Carlson with libretto by the late Colin Graham. Eight performances are scheduled from September 11 through 26 at the California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San José. Opera San José will present Anna Karenina with a new scene added by the composer following the opera's 2007 world premiere at Florida Grand Opera. Anna Karenina is sponsored by a grant from the Carol Franc Buck Foundation and is made possible, in part, by a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José.
OPERA SOUTHWEST (Albuquerque, NM) | www.operasouthwest.org
The Brabson Composers Competition - World Premiere
The Brabson Composers Competition is for the creation of a short opera using original music as a tool for educating elementary through middle school audiences in the areas of the sciences or humanities. The winning opera will be chosen by February 1, 2011 and will receive its world premiere in the 2011-2012 season and will be remounted in the 2012-2013 season.
OPERA THEATER OF PITTSBURGH (Pittsburgh, PA) | www.operatheaterpittsburgh.org
The Gospel at Colonus (Bob Telson)
Love is strong as Fate. This smash hit gospel opera comes to Pittsburgh in a brand new co-production with the August Wilson Center. Playwright Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson had an amazing idea: retell the story of Oedipus using a gospel choir and soloists as the storytellers. The result played on Broadway, was telecast on Great Performances and defies description. Is it a Classical drama? A Christian parable? A series of R&B love songs? Whatever else it is, it is one of the most stunningly moving pop-gospel hybrid operas of all time. Oedipus fights Fate - and the gospel fights back.
Orpheus and Euridice (Ricky Ian Gordon)
A Breath of Life in the Allegheny Cemetery. This contemporary American love-story comes to life surrounded by spectacular monumental statuary and lush rolling lawns, set in a hollow around a lake, where five hundred candles float. Opera Theater's singers and musicians collaborate with the extraordinary dancers of Attack Theatre for a modern rite of rebirth. Tour the cemetery before the performance, picnic in one of the most beautiful spots in the city, set a lighted candle afloat in memory of a loved one and experience the magical act of regeneration. Life is breath, breath is music, music is movement. A life-enhancing music-dance-drama. Sung in English.
OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS (Saint Louis, MO) | www.opera-stl.org
The Death of Klinghoffer (John Adams)
Based on the true story of the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestinian terrorists and the murder of a passenger, The Death of Klinghoffer represents a chilling moment in history. This will be the first U.S. staged production of John Adams' opera since the original 1991 production. The New York Times describes Klinghoffer as "humane, perceptive and engrossing." Christopher Magiera (last seen as Onegin) returns as the Captain and former GYA Elliot Madore as the terrorist, Mahmoud. It will be staged by OTSL artistic director James Robinson and conducted by Michael Christie. All operas sung in English and performed with members of the famed Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
PORTLAND OPERA (Portland, OR) | www.portlandopera.org
Galileo Galilei (Philip Glass)
March - April 2012
Following the company's successful mainstage premiere of Glass's Orphee in 2009, the Portland Opera Studio Production, featuring the Portland Opera Studio Artists, will continue to explore the Glass repertoire. Galileo Galilei focuses on the life of the revolutionary scientist, astronomer and thinker. The poignant tale begins with an aged Galileo on his deathbed and works backward in time. The intimacy of this Glass chamber opera will be enhanced in the 900-seat Newmark Theatre, Portland Opera's second home. In an effort to focus public attention, efforts are underway to schedule a Galileo exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum.
Candide (Leonard Bernstein)
With stage direction by Christopher Mattaliano, sets by Jerome Sirlin and costumes by Jamie Scott, this revival production whisks audiences along on Candide's whirlwind journey with an ingenious use of colorful, quickly changing screen projections. It is expected to draw a strong audience of Leonard Bernstein fans, especially since the work has not been produced in Portland since its popular company premiere in 2002. The company will set the stage for the production by including Bernstein selections in the Portland Opera Studio Artists recitals and working with many other Portland arts organizations to create a "Bernstein Buzz."
SAN DIEGO OPERA (San Diego, CA) | www.sdopera.com
Moby-Dick (Jake Heggie)
San Diego Opera is proud to be the next American Company to present Moby-Dick. This powerful and emotional new work by Jake Heggie and Gene Scher uses cutting edge technology to create a night of gripping musical theater. Capturing the elemental forces of the sea and Captain Ahab's obsession with the great white whale that maimed him, Moby-Dick is an opera with huge emotions and conflicts that are very human and real. In the role of the obsessed Captain Ahab we welcome the return of tenor Jay Hunter Morris, baritone Morgan Smith as Starbuck (debut), bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Queequeg (debut), tenor Jonathan Boyd as Greenhorn (debut) and soprano Talise Trevigne as Pip.
THE SANTA FE OPERA (Santa Fe, NM) | www.santafeopera.org
The Last Savage (Gian Carlo Menotti)
July - August 2011
The Santa Fe Opera will offer Gian Carlo Menotti's The Last Savage in its 2011 festival season. The three act opera features Anna Christy as the young anthropologist, Kitty, and Daniel Okulitch as Abdul (the savage). Ned Canty is the director, George Manahan will conduct. The opera premiered in Paris in 1963, and at the Metropolitan Opera later the same year. The composer describes his opera as an opera buffa in the style of Mozart and Rossini, and a gentle satire on life in the 60s. (Think Mad Men). General Director Charles Mackay says, "The Last Savage is fun-filled and deserves to be seen and heard again."
SARASOTA OPERA (Sarasota, FL) | www.sarasotaopera.org
The Crucible (Robert Ward)
Based on Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning play, The Crucible weaves a tale of lust, pride, revenge and power against a backdrop of the Salem witch trials. Premiered by New York City Opera in 1961, the opera was an immediate audience and critical success, and Robert Ward's powerfully moving score won the Pulitzer Prize in that same year. The Crucible marks the beginning of a new initiative for Sarasota Opera: the new American Classics series, which will bring some of the recognized classics of American opera to Sarasota.
TACOMA OPERA (Tacoma, WA) | www.tacomaopera.com
Trouble in Tahiti (Leonard Bernsetin)
Tacoma Opera presents Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti as a double-bill with Pagliacci on March 11 and 13, 2011 at the Pantages Theater. Although musically quite different, the two operas balance each other with their different kinds of marital trouble. In Tahiti, the cycle of discontent is played out with words, rather than knives, as Sam and Dinah's struggles play out against a backdrop of 1950s suburban affluence. Tacoma's new production of this double bill will be conducted by Carolyn Kuan (deubt) and directed by Benjamin Smith (debut); most of the artists sing in both operas. Dinah is sung by Hannah Penn; Sam by Matthew Hayward (who also sings Silvio). The jazz trio are Kimberly Giordano (Nedda), Robert McAulay-Barnts (Beppe) and Daniel Oakden (Tonio).
UTAH SYMPHONY | UTAH OPERA (Salt Lake City, UT) | www.utahsymphonyopera.org
Little Women (Mark Adamo)
Come laugh and cry with the four March sisters as they experience life, love, and loss in 19th-century New England. Mark Adamo's affectionate adaptation perfectly captures Louisa May Alcott's beloved novel.
VIRGINIA OPERA (Norfolk, VA) | www.vaopera.org
Rappahannock County (Ricky Ian Gordon) - World Premiere
In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, a new musical work by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Mark Campbell will have its world premiere performance on April 12, 2011, the same day that Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in 1861. The new work has been co-commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Opera, the Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond and the Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. Rappahannock County is a fictional song cycle inspired by diaries, letters and personal accounts during the period of the Civil War, and explores the war's impact, from secession to defeat, on a community of Virginians - black and white, rich and poor, soldiers, nurses, widows and survivors. The production is a multi-media event, enhanced by projections, illustrations, documents and other moving visuals, and features five principal singers performing more than 30 roles, backed by an ensemble of 17 musicians.