Palm Beach Opera to Present World Premiere of ENEMIES, 2/20
On Friday, February 20 the Palm Beach Opera will present the first world premiere in its 53-year history with Ben Moore's Enemies, A Love Story. Hailed as "one of the most eagerly anticipated premieres of the season" (WQXR), the unprecedented new production is one of several original projects designed to bring opera to a wider audience at the Florida house, which remains one of American opera's most inspirational recent success stories. Highlighting the company's creative audience engagement initiatives, ticket prices have been substantially lowered on more than 600 seats per performance this season, and tickets for family concerts reduced to a single flat fee of just $5, giving an unprecedented level of accessibility to Palm Beach Opera's current offerings.
The company's inaugural world premiere is also the first opera for American composer Ben Moore (b. 1960), whose "gorgeously lyrical" (New York Times) work has been championed by singers from Deborah Voigt to Audra McDonald. Set to a libretto by Nahma Sandrow, in Enemies, A Love Story (Feb 20-22) Moore's melodies serve the story of Herman Broder, a philosophical Jewish intellectual and Holocaust survivor living in post-war New York, which is at once the comedy of a man juggling two wives and a mistress, and a dark reflection on the legacy of the Holocaust. Its inspiration was Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer's Yiddish novel Sonim, di Geshichte fun a Liebe (1966) and the late Paul Mazursky's subsequent 1989 film adaptation (its title rendered in English as Enemies, A Love Story); starring Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, and Lena Olin, the film won a New York Film Critics Circle Award and was nominated for three Oscars.
In Palm Beach Opera's premier production, Herman will be sung by Ovation Award-winning bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch. No stranger to premiering operatic adaptations of the movies, Okulitch has already created such leading roles as Willy Wonka in The Golden Ticket, prompting the Wall Street Journal to pronounce him "luminous" and Opera Today to confirm: "For star wattage in this crucial role, Okulitch emphatically delivered the goods." He will head a strong cast directed by Sam Helfrich, whose credits include Boston Lyric Opera and the Spoleto and Glimmerglass Festivals, with David Stern, Music Director of the Israel Opera, leading the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased online at www.pbopera.org or by calling the Palm Beach Opera Box Office at 561-833-7888.
Palm Beach Opera's mainstage opera season at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts also features Puccini's La bohème (Jan 16-18) and Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment (March 20-22). Ticket prices for all three productions have been radically reduced this season, with orchestra seats now starting at $50 for every performance and no less than 35% of the house now priced significantly lower than last season. In addition, all tickets for family concerts, whether purchased for children or the adults accompanying them, are now offered at just $5 - less than the cost of seeing a movie - for every seat in the house.
Palm Beach Opera is dedicated to producing live opera at an international standard of excellence and to enriching the life of the communities it serves with a diverse offering of educational programs. Founded in 1961, the fully professional Palm Beach Opera presents main stage performances at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach and is a proud member of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.