On May 27th, Opera Theatre of St. Louis premiered a new version of RICKY IAN GORDON‘s The Grapes of Wrath. Trimmed down from three acts to two, this reworking of Gordon’s 2007 opera – based on Steinbeck’s classic novel – has drawn exceptionally high praise from critics (see below). With five more performances throughout the month of June, there is still time to catch this new production.
…rich in human characterization and detail, and expressed in an enchanting, emotional musical language, with a poetic, vernacular libretto…”The Grapes of Wrath” stands at the pinnacle of the new canon of American operas…
–Eric A. Gordon, People’s World
In all aspects, it is outstanding … Michael Korie’s libretto is sustained free verse, a treatment of the American vernacular, as sensitive and authentic as I’ve ever heard outside my native American South. Ricky Gordon’s music is an Ozark stream in the springtime, full of energy, muddy here, turbulent there, calm and sweet in crystalline pools that refresh the soul, but dangerous and deadly on the loose.
–Robert W. Duffy, St. Louis Magazine
I have never in my life been more emotionally moved by an opera than by this glorious production. … this current version is a work of remarkable beauty and power.
–Steve Callahan, Broadway World
“Grapes” packs a dramatic punch, and pleases harmonically. Gordon’s score, grateful to the voice, explores almost every thread of musical style from the era it depicts. This is a version that should have wide acceptance, particularly from smaller opera companies.
–Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch