American Lyric Theater Presents THE LIVING LIBRETTO at National Opera Center Tonight
Debbie Saivetz has directed and developed new plays at New York and regional theaters such as the Foundry, the Lark, Fulcrum, Clubbed Thumb, Rattlestick, Ensemble Studio Theater, Voice & Vision, Red Bull, INTAR, the Playwrights' Center, Hartford Stage, the Goodman, the Guthrie, Long Wharf and Seattle Rep. She directed the New York premiere of Javier Malpica's Our Dad is in Atlantis/Papá está en la Atlántida (Working Theater) and the Mexican premiere of Sarah Ruhl's La Casa Limpia/The Clean House (Teatro Helénico). Most recently, she directed Verónica Musalem's Rebanadas de vida/Slices of Life for Lab Trece in Mexico City and Sarah Ruhl's Eurídice at La Casa de los Teatros in Oaxaca. She is a New Georges Affiliate Artist, an alumna of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, a Drama League Directing Fellow and was a Resident Director at New Dramatists. She holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern and teaches at Montclair State University.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR WHOSE WORK INSPIRED THE OPERA
Brian Castner served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer in the US Air Force from 1999 to 2007, deploying to Iraq to command bomb disposal units in Balad and Kirkuk in 2005 and 2006. After leaving the active military, he became a consultant and contractor, training Army and Marine Corps units prior to their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His writing has appeared in a number of national and regional publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Publisher's Weekly, and Garry Trudeau's The Sandbox anthology. Brian lives outside of Buffalo, New York with his wife and four sons. The Long Walk is his first book.
American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full-time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT's programs focus on serving the needs of composers and librettists, developing new works, and collaborating with larger producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire.
In 2006, ALT commissioned The Golden Ticket, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The opera was given its world premiere in June 2010 in partnership with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, followed by its international premiere in partnership with Ireland's Wexford Festival Opera in October 2010. In December 2012, ALT released its first CD, the live recording of The Golden Ticket on the Albany Records label. Conducted by composer Peter Ash, the CD was produced by ALT in partnership with The Atlanta Opera, and was made during performances in Atlanta in March 2012.
In 2007, ALT launched its core initiative, the Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP), led by Producing Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson and a faculty including some of the country's foremost artists, including composer-librettist Mark Adamo, composers Robert Beaser and Anthony Davis, librettists Michael Korie and Mark Campbell, dramaturg Cori Ellison and stage director Rhoda Levine. Recent guest teachers and lecturers have included composers Kaija Saariaho, Nico Muhly, StewArt Wallace, Christopher Theofanidis, Ricky Ian Gordon, John Musto, and Paul Moravec, and librettists Donna DiNovelli, Stephen Karam, and Gene Scheer. Notable alumni of the CLDP include librettists Royce Vavrek, Deborah Brevoort and Quincy Long, and composers Aleksandra Vrebalov, Patrick Soluri, Jeff Myers, and Christopher Cerrone. To date, the program has provided intensive, personalized mentorship to 30 gifted emerging artists; developed 11 short chamber operas; and in 2009, ALT commissioned The Poe Project, a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe from six CLDP Resident Artists.
In June 2012, ALT was the first company dedicated to artist mentorship rather than operatic production to be recognized by OPERA America as a Professional Company Member - a testament to ALT's service to the field.
Further details about upcoming 2012-2013 season The Living Libretto performances and more can be found at www.altnyc.org.