It could happen – in Steven Stucky’s opera, The Classical Style, which debuts at the Ojai Festival on June 14th next year. Pianist Jeremy Denk created an original story and libretto which pokes fun at the over-analysis often applied to classical music, and imagines an increasingly absurd conversation between Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, with various other disgruntled musicians playing a part. Pulitzer Prize winner Stucky has an extensive œuvre of orchestral, chamber, vocal and choral works, but this is his first foray into the world of opera.
new and old from Ricky Ian Gordon
Ricky Ian Gordon ventures into murder and intrigue when A Coffin in Egypt premieres at Houston Grand Opera in March, 2014. With a libretto by Leonard Foglia, the story is based on Horton Foote’s play A Coffin in Egypt: an old woman in Egypt, Texas, looks back on her life and marriage, including several dark incidents. The opera is mainly a vehicle for one principal singer in the role of Myrtle, which will be sung by Frederica von Stade. Other performances are planned, including at Opera Philadelphia in June.
A second new opera by Gordon débuts in June, when Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents 27, about Gertrude Stein and her famous Paris salon at 27, rue de Fleurus, which was frequented by many artists and writers, such as Picasso, Matisse and Hemingway. Stein and her brother were noted art collectors, and the paintinigs play a pivotal role in the plot. Stephanie Blythe stars as Gertrude Stein, who is joined by a quartet of singers playing a variety of other roles.
Many folks will remember the spectacular production of Orpheus and Euridice at the Olympic pool in Long Beach, which took place during the 2010 Opera America conference. Andreas Mitisek, who is now General Director of Chicago Opera Theater, brings the production to the Eckhart Park Pool in Chicago at the beginning of November. Read, see and watch below:
Last June, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut, gave the world premiere of My Friend’s Story (after a short story by Chekhov), written by the composer/librettist team of Martin Bresnick and J.D. McClatchy. Read a review here.
This is a touching, in-the-moment, classy and credible new musical theater piece about real characters with real emotions...
Christopher Arnott, New Haven Theater Jerk
MY FRIEND’S STORY
Voices: Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass
Instr: 2Cl. Perc. Pno./Synth. Vln. Vcl. Cb.
The world premiere of The Picture of Dorian Gray took place at L’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and the U.S. premiere was at Florentine Opera in Milwaukee; a version with reduced orchestration was first performed by Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia.
Daron Hagen’s dark, multi-layered opera which walks “the fine line between pastiche and inspiration” receives its first performance in Asia on December 15th, at Opera Siam (formerly Bangkok Opera).
VERA OF LAS VEGAS(A Nightmare Cabaret Opera in One Act)
Voices: Soprano, Counter-tenor, Tenor, Baritone, 2 Mutes
Instr: Ob., Reed I (Cl. in Bb, Sop. Sax. in Bb), Reed II (Cl. in Bb, B.Cl. in Bb, A.Sax.in Eb), Bsn., tpt.in C, tbn., Drum Kit,
Acoustic Piano, Yamaha Clavinova P-100 Synthesizer (or equivalent), Acoustic Guitar (doubling Elect. Lead Gtr. and
Elect. B. Gtr.),
Daron Hagen talks about Vera of Las Vegas
New from Thomas Pasatieri is The Martyrs, a second collaboration with librettist Daphne Malfitano (the first being The Family Room, for 2 sopranos and actor). The Martyrs is in 2 acts, each a monodrama in which the character suffers from the actions of others as well as his/her own. The work is for 2 singers with piano accompaniment, and premiered at DiCapo Opera Theatre in New York last year with Catherine Malfitano, soprano, Zeffin Quinn Hollis, baritone, and Pacien Mazzagatti, piano. A piano/vocal score will be available for sale from Theodore Presser in early 2014. Other recent Pasatieri publications include a second volume of Album Leaves [111-40241] for voice and piano, set to texts in English, French and German.