Pittsburgh Opera Presents The World Premiere Of ASHES & SNOW

By: Dec. 15, 2017
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Pittsburgh Opera Presents The World Premiere Of ASHES & SNOW

Pittsburgh Opera produces their second world premiere in two years. Ashes & Snow, composed by Douglas J. Cuomo and directed by Jonathan Moore, will premiere in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera's historic headquarters in Pittsburgh's Strip District in February, 2018.

Ashes & Snow is based on Wilhelm Müller's 24-poem cycle which was used as the text for Franz Schubert's famous Winterreise ("Winter Journey").

The 24 poems and songs of the Winterreise tell an anguished story of lost love, through what is essentially a single dramatic monologue, sung here by award-winning Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist tenor Eric Ferring.

Ashes & Snow is set in the present day, and unfolds in a run-down motel room in the desert of the American West. The protagonist must confront his demons and face up to everything he has done, and all he has lost, in his life. He is searching for forgiveness, enlightenment, and atonement.

Mr. Ferring will be accompanied by three on-stage musicians, led from the piano by Pittsburgh Opera Director of Musical Studies Mark Trawka. Also included is a trumpet, an electric guitar played by the composer himself, and electronic sound effects. The musical style is '21st century art-song,' infused with acid jazz and punk energy, to create a very raw and emotional experience.

Composer Douglas J. Cuomo is perhaps most well-known for his opera "Doubt", based on the play and movie of the same name, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in 2013.
Ashes & Snow is being developed in partnership with American Opera Projects (AOP). AOP is at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement, commissioning, developing, presenting, and producing opera and music theatre projects, collaborating with young, rising, and established artists.

Interesting facts about Ashes & Snow

  1. Ashes & Snow composer Douglas J. Cuomo also composed the theme music for the hit TV show Sex and the City.
  2. Tenor Eric Ferring was recently named one of Pittsburgh's "Who's Next in Music" by The Incline in October, where he was among a vibrant list of "21 young leaders defining the new Pittsburgh sound."
  3. This will be the fourth Pittsburgh Opera project involving American Opera Projects (AOP), and the third in the past two years. The first three were Paul's Case (2014), As One (2017), and The Summer King (April, 2017), which was Pittsburgh Opera's first world premiere.

Performance Information

  • Four performances: Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 8:00 PM; Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 7:00 PM; Friday, February 23, 2018 - 7:30 PM; Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 2:00 PM
  • Sung in English with English texts projected above the stage
  • Tickets to all performances of Ashes & Snow start at $40
  • All performances are at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue, in the Strip District
  • To purchase tickets, call 412-456-6666, visit the Theatre Square Box Office, or buy online at https://opera.culturaldistrict.org/production/51816/list_performances
  • Group discounts are available. For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Regina Connolly at 412-281-0912, ext. 213.


COMING UP NEXT for Pittsburgh Opera: Moby-Dick, March 17 - 25, 2018
Pittsburgh Opera celebrates its 79th season in 2017-18. Established by five intrepid women in 1939, Pittsburgh Opera is viewed as one of the most vibrant opera organizations in the U.S., with a rich artistic tradition, outstanding educational programs, an acclaimed artist training program, and a progressive outlook toward the future. Its green initiative culminated in LEED Silver certification for its Strip District headquarters, and its capacity as a true community partner has increased significantly under General Director Christopher Hahn's leadership.


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