Today, the Vadstena Akademien presents the world première of B Tommy Andersson's The Importance of Being Earnest, with a libretto by William Relton based on the play by Oscar Wilde.
It is the composer's second opera after William (Vadstena, 2006).
Two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives. They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. (reproduced from importanceofbeingearnest.co.uk)The cast includes baritone Sebastian Duran (Jack Worthing), baritone Hannes Öberg (Algernon Moncrieff), tenor Nils Hübinette (Rev. Fredrick Chasuble), mezzo Ingrid Tobiasson (Lady Augusta Bracknell), mezzo Francine Vis (Gwendolen Fairfax) and soprano Vivianne Holmberg (Cecily Cardew). The composer conducts a chamber orchestra of soloists and the librettist directs.
The required orchestra is the following :
- 1 piccolo, 1 English horn, 1 bass clarinet, 1 double bassoon ;
- 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone ;
- harp, celesta and piano ;
- strings (18.104.22.168.1 or 22.214.171.124.3).
The performance should last about 110 minutes. Another opera with a libretto after the same play was already composed by Gerald Barry in 2011 and first performed the same year by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.