Today, the Opera Philadelphia presents the world première of Sky on Swings, a chamber opera by Lembit Beecher with a libretto by Hannah Moscovitch.
It is the composer's fourth opera, after the 'micro opera' In This World, George Is Heartbroken (Toronto, 2012), the chamber operas I Have No Stories To Tell You (New York, 2014) and Sophia's Forest (Philadelphia, September 2017).
Is there any grace in forgetting ? This new chamber opera finds fleeting beauty in memory loss through an unflinching yet uplifting exploration of living with Alzheimer’s disease. (reproduced from the Opera Philadelphia website)The cast includes mezzo Frederica von Stade (Danny), mezzo Marietta Simpson (Martha), countertenor Daniel Taylor (Ira) and soprano sharleen Joynt (Winnie). Geoffrey MacDonald conducts the Orchestra of Opera Philadelphia. Joanna Settle directs.
The required orchestra is the following (according to the composer's website) :
- 1 clarinet (doubling bass clarinet) ;
- 1 trumpet, 1 trombone ;
- percussion, piano, harp ;
- string quintet.
The performance should last about 80 minutes. The venue is the Perelman Theater.