World Premiere Of Gregg Kallor's FRANKENSTEIN to Play Arizona Opera in October

Frankenstein will mark Arizona Opera's third world premiere, following the successes of Riders of the Purple Sage and The Copper Queen Film.

By: Jul. 22, 2023
World Premiere Of Gregg Kallor's FRANKENSTEIN to Play Arizona Opera in October
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Arizona Opera will present the world premiere of Gregg Kallor's acclaimed new opera Frankenstein on October 13, 2023. The run will begin in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center October 13-15, 2023 and continue in Tucson at The Temple of Music and Art from October 21-22, 2023. Frankenstein will mark Arizona Opera's third world premiere, following the successes of Riders of the Purple Sage and The Copper Queen Film.

The new adaptation of Mary Shelley's iconic novel boasts a riveting cinematic score and libretto both produced by Gregg Kallor. Embracing Shelley's original text, the living, feeling Creature is brought to life only to be forsaken by its creator, Victor Frankenstein. Frankenstein gives a poignant voice to the Creature's struggle and lays bare the horror of alienation with exquisite nuance. "What drives my creation of this opera about a living being that is shunned and vilified for its 'otherness' is Shelley's exquisitely wrought plea to look deeper within ourselves to find our commonality, and to uphold our responsibility to one another,” says Kallor.

President and General Director of Arizona Opera, Joseph Specter, said, “The timelessness of Shelley's novel, combined with Gregg's compelling score and libretto, will create an impactful opportunity for the opera art form to connect with both long-time devotees and newcomers alike. Frankenstein is a story that is as meaningful now as it was when it was published in 1818, and we believe this opera will become an important addition to the contemporary operatic canon.” 

Kallor began his musical exploration of Frankenstein in 2018 by composing three scenes that were performed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, presented by Death of Classical. The sold-out run, selected as one of the most memorable performances of the year by WQXR, was praised by Opera News as "a perfect balance of text and music" from "a singular compositional voice." Limelight Magazine wrote, "Kallor's dynamically-charged score is intricate yet approachable with long, singable lines, and plenty of moody atmosphere." Parterre Box called Kallor "a musician of great atmospheric sensuality, [whose] portrait was complex, by turns frightening and sympathetic," and OperaWire heralded it as “a shattering, powerful experience.”

Frankenstein is part of the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series. The new commission of Frankenstein is funded, in part, by a gift from Linda and Stuart Nelson.



October 13-15, 2023
Herberger Theater Center

October 21-22, 2023
The Temple of Music and Art


About Gregg Kallor

Gregg Kallor is a composer and pianist whose music fuses the classical and jazz traditions he loves into a new, deeply personal language. The New York Times writes: "At home in both jazz and classical forms, [Kallor] writes music of unaffected emotional directness. Leavened with flashes of oddball humor, his works succeed in drawing in the listener - not as consumer or worshipful celebrant, but in a spirit of easygoing camaraderie."

Kallor (pronounced "KAY-ler") unveiled his adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, in a 100-year old vaulted crypt in Harlem, NY in 2016. He recorded the musical ghost story with soprano Melody Moore and cellist Joshua Roman; Opera News calls it "a tour-de-force performance, a true marriage of song, declamation, poetry and psychological thriller." Kallor reprised the piece with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and Roman in 2018 in the Catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NY), at Tuesday Musical (Ohio), and at the Society of the Four Arts (Florida) in 2020.

Kallor was Composer-in-Residence at Tuesday Musical from 2018-2020, and at SubCulture NY from 2013-2020. Recent projects include his Octet, premiered by the Dover and Escher String Quartets, and Some Not Too Distant Tomorrow, a tribute to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., which Kallor premiered with the GRAMMY-winning Attacca Quartet. Kallor's solo recording, A Single Noon, is a musical tableau of life in New York City told through a seamless blend of composed music and improvisation that eliminates the idea of genre. Legendary pianist/composer Fred Hersch calls A Single Noon "the work of an extraordinary pianist, a composer of great distinction and a true conceptualist... This ambitious and unique suite takes us somewhere that is very deeply heartfelt and dazzlingly executed. This is 21st-century music that has clearly absorbed the past and looks to a bright and borderless musical future."


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