Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Today : world première of Luke Styles' 'Macbeth' in Glyndebourne

Today, Macbeth, the fifth opera composed by Luke Styles, with a libretto by Ted Huffman after William Shakespeare, will be performed in Glyndebourne, at the Jerwood Studio.

Luke Styles is Glyndebourne's recent Young Composer-in-Residence. His first three operas have received their first performance there : Lovers Walk in 2012 (youth opera), Wakening Shadow in 2013 (chamber opera), Tycho's Dream in 2014 (youth opera). The fourth, Unborn in America was performed last January at the Vault Festival London.

This new opera (commissioned by Glyndebourne) is conceived for 12 principals singers and a chamber orchestra of 12 instruments. It will be performed by Ed Ballard (Macbeth), Aidan Coburn (Lady Macbeth), Alessandro Fischer (Banquo), Michael Wallace (Malcolm), Richard bignall (Macduff), accompanied by soloists from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Jeremy Bines conducts and librettist Ted Huffman directs.

Macbeth will also be performed in London, at the Linbury Studio Theatre (Royal Opera House) next September (first night, September 9th).

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Received in the mail : program book for Dennehy's 'The Last Hotel' in Edinburgh

This Wednesday morning, I have received in the mail the program book published by the Edinburgh International Festival for Donnacha Dennehy's opera The Last Hotel, which happened on Saturday 8 August at the Royal Lyceum Theatre.

It is a 64 pages brochure. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis, by librettist Enda Walsh ;
- the poem Elm 'for Ruth Fainlight', by Sylvia Plath ;
- Holes in Reality, by John Fallas ;
- A Pure Theatre Animal, by Michael Billington on Enda Walsh (edited version of an article published by The Guardian last year) :
- biographies (with B & W headshots) : composer, librettist and director, conductor, singers, main crew members ;
- articles on the Crash Ensemble, the coproducers Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera, The Lyceum.

The opera will be on tour in Dublin (September and October 2015), London (October 2015) and New York (January 2016).

Saturday, 8 August 2015

August 8th : world première of Donnacha Dennehy's 'The Last Hotel' in Edinburgh

Today, Donnacha Dennehy's first chamber opera, The Last Hotel, with a libretto by Enda Walsh, will be performed for the first time in Edinburgh at the Royal Lyceum Theatre.

Though there has been a 'preview performance' yesterday, the world première is announced for today on the Edinburgh International Festival website.
As the opera begins, a man silently mops the floor – the water bloody. The hotel room he’s supposed to be preparing is not ready yet. A woman is meeting a man and his wife in the hotel’s car park. All three are nervous. Tonight there’ll be a death. (reproduced from the Festival website)
The cast includes Robin Adams, Claudia Boyle, Katherine Manley and the actor Mikel Murfi. André de Ridder conducts the Crash Ensemble. The opera should last about 80 minutes (no interval).

The opera will be performed at the Linbury Studio Theatre (Royal Opera House) in London next October.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Received in the mail this morning : 'Elmer Gantry' (Aldridge) and 'Wuthering Heights' (Floyd) from Milwaukee

This Wednesday morning, I have received two program books published by Florentine Opera in Milwaukee for the following operas :

- Robert Aldridge : Elmer Gantry, first performance on March 13th, 2015 ;
- Carlisle Floyd : Wuthering Heights, first performance on January 9th, 2015.

Program books are 50 and 38 pages brochures.

The first contains :

- Revival - Elmer Gantry returns ! by Leann Davis Alspaugh ;
- The Bully Pulpit - Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry, by Leann Davis Alspaugh ;
- the complete cast ;
- the detailed synopsis ;
- detailed biographies of the composer, the librettist Herschel Garfein, the director Frank Kelley and the conductor Christopher Larkin ;
- biographies of the singers (all biographies with headshots).

This opera was already performed there in March 2010 and a recording has been released by Naxos in its American Opera Classics collection :

The second contains :

- the complete cast ;
- synopsis ;
- detailed biographies of the composer, the conductor Joseph Mechavich ;
- biographies of the singers (all biographies with headshots).

Scanned covers of all program books I have in my collection are in this flickr folder.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August 1st : world première of Jennifer Higdon's 'Cold Mountain' in Santa Fe

Today, Jennifer Higdon's first opera, Cold Mountain, with a libretto by Gene Scheer after Charles Frazier's novel, will be performed at the Santa Fe Opera Theater.

Jennifer Higdon has been working on the opera since 2009, and completed it in September 2013. It was originally commissioned by the San Francisco Opera, but several right issues postponed it for several years. In December 2012 and December 2013, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (where Higdon teaches) organized workshop performances of some excerpts.
The libretto tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks for months to return to Ada Monroe, the love of his life. (reproduced from Wikipedia)
The cast includes Jay Hunter Morris (Teague), Nathan Gunn (Inman), Isabel Leonard (Ada), Emily Fons (Ruby), Anthony Michaels-Moore (Monroe) and Kevin Burdette (Stobrod). Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts and Leonard Foglia directs.

The opera will also be performed in Philadelphia in February 2016 and then at the North Carolina Opera during the 2017-2018 season. Ultimately, a recording of the New Mexico performances is to be published by Pentatone.