Photo Flash: Inside the Opening Night of A COFFIN IN EGYPT at The Wallis
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the West Coast premiere of A Coffin in Egypt, a new chamber opera in one act, based on the play, A Coffin in Egypt by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Horton Foote, for three performances only, from April 23, 25 and 27 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater. A Coffin in Egypt stars mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, one of opera's most beloved figures, whose formidable bravura has won her wide acclaim. Ricky Ian Gordon, the composer, has also composed The Grapes of Wrath, Rappahannock County, and Orpheus and Euridice. Leonard Foglia, librettist and director, directed Master Class on Broadway and Jake Heggie's opera Last Acts. Check out a look back at opening night and the after party at Flemings Steakhouse below!
The story, rich with regional imagery of Horton Foote, the legendary Texas playwright and author, tells of 90-year-old grand dame Myrtle Bledsoe, who has outlived her husband, her daughters and virtually everyone else in Egypt, Texas. But in the last stage of her life, she can't outlive the truth and an intimate afternoon conversation triggers a searing examination of the past -- a haunting tale of memory and murder, regret and recrimination -- in this tour-de-force written for von Stade.
The company also includes Cecilia Duarte, Carolyn Johnson, David Matranga, Adam Noble, and a Gospel Chorus of Cheryl D. Clansy, Laura Elizabeth Patterson, James M. Winslow, and Jawan CM Jenkins. The conductor is Kathleen Kelly. The set and costume designer is Riccardo Hernández; the lighting designer is Brian Mason. A Coffin in Egypt is co-produced and co-commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
A Coffin in Egypt offers only three performances: Wednesday, April 23 at 8pm; Friday, April 25 at 8pm; and Sunday, April 27 at 2pm. Tickets ($79 - $199) are available at www.thewallis.org or by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center Box Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
Photos by Kevin Parry