Ricky Ian Gordon‘s most recent opera, Morning Star, will be featured on the New Works Sampler at the 2016 Opera America Conference in Montréal, Canada. On May 20th, artists will perform select scenes from the opera in front leading Artistic Directors and Music Directors from around the country. The event has become an important part of Opera America’s annual conference and is designed to showcase the organization’s core commitment to new work development.
Morning Star was premiered by Cincinnati Opera on June 30, 2015. Based on Sylvia Regan’s play and on parallels with the composer’s own family, the opera is a deeply touching character piece about life among Jewish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side. The diverse cast of Haitian, Irish, and Italian characters set a fitting backdrop of lower Manhattan in the first part of the 20th century. Hope blossoms and is dashed as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, World War I, and the Great Depression lead to death, divorce, and despair. Through it all, Ricky Ian Gordon’s engaging score and William M. Hoffman’s colorful libretto maintain charming threads of love, optimism, comedy, and tragedy.