Today, the Washington National Opera and American Opera Initiative present the world première performance of Mohammed Fairouz's new opera, The Dictator's Wife, with a libretto by Mohammed Hanif based on his own play.
It is the composer's second opera after Sumeida's Song, first performed in New York in 2013. A recording of this opera has been published by Bridge Records.
The glamorous yet tormented wife of a once-powerful dictator bemoans that she is now having to answer for all of the terrible atrocities committed by her husband, who has "taken to cowering in the bathroom" as the country falls apart. (reproduced from the Kennedy Center website)The cast includes mezzo soprano Allegra De Vita (First Lady), soprano Ariana Wehr (Ms. Holy), baritone Hunter Enoch (ADC), mezzo soprano Leah Hawkins (I Will See My Children Mom), tenor Rexford Tester (Give-Me-Cheap-Petrol Protestor) and bass Timothy J. Bruno (Death Row Dad). The ensemble will be conducted by Nicole Paiement and directed by Ethan McSweeny.
The performance should last about 1 hour, with no intermission.