Shiny New Operas

Shiny New Operas

Jenna Simeonov

Starting in 2014, the operatic repertoire will grow with fresh and intriguing new pieces. Here are a few to which I look forward.

Later this month in Madrid, Brokeback Mountain has its debut at the Teatro Real. It was originally supposed to have its première at New York City Opera, but it got nixed in 2008 when NYCO’s general director Gerard Mortier resigned (he later brought it with him to Madrid). It’s written by American composer Charles Wuorinen and Annie Proulx, the author of the original short story on which the movie was based. Out of curiosity and shameless fandom, I profess an honest excitement for Breaking Bad - Ozymandias, a new work by composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong set to première on January 28, 2014 as part of the One World Symphony’s “Addiction” concert series in New York City. There’s been talk of having Bryan Cranston involved and performing in Sprechstimme.

Tapestry Opera is Canada’s go-to company for producing new Canadian opera, and their next project is M’dea Undone (music by John Harris, libretto by Marjorie Chan) is set to première in the spring of 2015. This year, on April 4 and 5, Tapestry presents Tapestry Explorations, a collection of short and/or workshopping operas still in process. I suspect that M’dea Undone will be part of the workshop this April. I love going to see Tapestry’s workshop performances; if you’re like me and enjoy seeing how something is put together, this is a really unique and honest artistic experience in a really cool performance space. Check out their schedule for 2014.

More from Canada, albeit more of a wait, is Opéra de Montréal’s commission Les feluettes (Lilies), set to open in 2016. Based on Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s play of the same name, it’s an adaptation by the author with music by Australian composer Kevin March. Les feluettes will be the first new piece by OdeM since 2001’s Thérèse Raquin.

Shortly after Montréal makes its mark with its new Canadian opera, the Canadian Opera Company will debut the much-anticipated Hadrian. It’ll all go down in the fall of 2018: Rufus Wainwright, Daniel MacIvor, and plenty of ancient Roman juicy goings-on. I’ll be there with bells on.

In mid-March, 2014, Bum Phillips will open in New York City. It’s a new work about a football coach who seems to be quite American indeed; the cool part of this project is that it’s been supported in part by crowdfunding campaigns.

There’s also Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, also premiering in March 2014 at Houston Grand Opera, written for Frederica von Stade and apparently a must-see.  Mark Adamo’s “Holiday Opera” will be completed for Dallas Opera in  December 2015. Oh, oh, and Minnesota Opera’s The Shining! May, 2016!

Whew. Go see some opera.



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