Portland Ovations' THE SUMMER KING Selected for Opera America's New Works Forum

Portland Ovations is proud to announce that The Summer King has been selected for inclusion in Opera America's New Works Forum. A Portland Ovations' commission and world premiere which will bring to a close its current season, The Summer King is a new American opera by Maine-based composer Daniel Sonenberg, who co-wrote the libretto with poet Daniel Nester. Opera America, the national service organization for opera, boasts an international membership and its mission is to promote the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera. Leading producers and directors of opera will have the opportunity to experience the libretto and music of The Summer King through a series of professional readings on January 15th in New York City. Aimée M. Petrin Executive Director of Portland Ovations states, "This is a very prestigious and amazing opportunity that brings The Summer Kingcloser to launching on a national level." Portland Ovations is grateful for its partnership with American Opera Projects, a New York City-based non-profit dedicated to the advancement of new and innovative opera which is working with us in the development of the premiere.

Also of note, in late August Daniel Sonenberg was awarded a Composer Assistance grant from New Music USA to support The Summer King. New Music USA awards are made twice annually to composers all over the country to help support premieres of their work. This round, New Music USA awarded $33,245 to 28 talented composers - all of whom are in the early and middle stages of their careers, and all of whom are contributing meaningful works to the field of new music. Sonenberg is honored to be acknowledged by both organizations and looks forward to sharing his work with audiences.

The Summer King considers the legacy of Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson. A hulking catcher, Gibson's prodigious talent with a bat earned him the moniker "the black Babe Ruth," and secured him a spot as the second Negro League ballplayer ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The opera portrays the injustice Gibson suffered at the hands of baseball's "Gentlemen's Agreement" and also the thriving culture, characterized by black-owned teams, stadiums and taverns, nightlife and humor.

Tickets for the world premiere of The Summer King are available now and range from $32 to $38 for Ovations Members and $35 to $42 for the general public. A limited number of $10 student tickets are also available to any full-time student. To purchase tickets visit www.portlandovations.org, contact PortTIX at 207-842-0800 or stop by the box office window at Merrill Auditorium.

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