On June 13th, 2014 the Ojai Festival presented the premiere of The Classical Style, the first opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky.
In his libretto, Jeremy Denk was inspired by Charles Rosen’s book of the same name on the Classical period to wonder what Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven would have made of today’s academic analysis of their music and times. Analytically accurate yet at times hilarious, the opera’s cast includes the three composers and some well-known opera characters, as well as some well-known chords!
Read blogs from two workshops held earlier this year:
Blog from first workshop
Blog fromsecond workshop
The Classical Style
An Opera (of sorts)
Libretto by Jeremy Denk
Cast: (with doublings) 2 Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, 2 Tenor, Baritone, Bass-baritone, Bass, Spoken role
Instrumentation: 2(2 dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 0; Timp. Perc. Hpsd.(dbl. Pno., Cel.) Str.
Ricky Ian Gordon’s latest opera, 27, was commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and premieres in 6 performances June 14th-29th. Gordon and librettist Royce Vavrek have created a work celebrating the life of Gertrude Stein and the legendary salon she hosted at 27, rue de Fleurus, in Paris, which was frequented by many important artists of the twentieth century, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Man Ray, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. At its core, 27 is a portrait of a genius and her legacy as knitted to life by Alice B. Toklas, her wife.
Gordon’s next opera, Morning Star, with libretto by William M. Hoffman, is slated for premiere in 2015 at Cincinnati Opera. The story is taken from the 1940 play of the same name by Sylvia Regan, and tells the story of the hopes and struggles of an immigrant Russian Jewish widow and her family on New York’s lower East Side, set against a backdrop of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (1911), the First World War, and the Great Depression.
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Cast: Mezzo-soprano, 4 supporting singers singing a variety of roles (Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass-Baritone)
Instrumentation: 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Kbd. Str.
We salute renowned lyricist and librettist Sheldon Harnick, who celebrated his 90th birthday on April 30th. In addition to his acclaimed English version of The Merry Widow, he also wrote libretti for two works by Thomas Z. Shepard, That Pig of a Molette (after a story by Guy de Maupassant), and A Question of Faith (after a story by Nikolai Semyenovich Leskov), which together form and evening called “Love in Two Countries.”
Harnick is also both librettist and composer for an amusing mini-opera called Frustration, in which Mélisande and her supposed Pelléas, being French but singing in English, express themselves in a delightful Franglais.
Cast: Soprano, Alto
Instrumentation: Cl. Pno. Vln.
On Sale: 441-41008