CINCINNATI OPERA AND CCM OPERA SELECT WORK FOR FALL 2014 OPERA FUSION: NEW WORKS RESIDENCY Great Scott
Music by Jake Heggie, Libretto by Terrence McNally November 17-25, 2014
Workshop will use resources of Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera Free public performance of the work in progress will be held November 25
CINCINNATI, OH----Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Opera Program are pleased to announce the selection of a new American opera, Great Scott, for the Opera Fusion: New Works program's fourth year of residencies.
Great Scott, composed by Jake Heggie with a libretto by Terrence McNally, will receive a workshop in Cincinnati from November 17 to 25, 2014. The opera, based on an original story by McNally, will have its world premiere at The Dallas Opera on October 30, 2015. The world premiere production will feature the creative team of stage directorJack O'Brien and conductor Evan Rogister, who will also participate in the Cincinnati residency. The workshop will culminate in a free public reading on Tuesday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, October 1 at 9:30 a.m. through the Cincinnati Opera box office; call (513) 241-2742 to reserve.
Great Scott marks Heggie and McNally's first major collaboration since their groundbreaking opera Dead Man Walking, which premiered at San Francisco Opera in 2000. Cincinnati Opera was the third company to present Dead Man Walking, featuring it as part of the 2002 Summer Festival.
"I don't know of many creative endeavors quite as daunting as creating a new, full-length opera," said composer Jake Heggie. "It requires an enormous number of people and countless hours to make an opera come to life; and unlike some Broadway shows, we don't have the luxury of previews to see the piece on its feet as we work and develop it. After all the time, money, and passion invested, new operas are pretty much shot out of a cannon on opening night. So, it is a thrilling opportunity and a jolt of enormous good fortune to be able to work on Great Scott in Cincinnati as part of the Opera Fusion: New Works program----a full year before the premiere at The Dallas Opera!"
"We will be able to work daily on every aspect of the piece, hear the music sung, engage in the drama and comedy, try different things, change words, rearrange phrases and scenes----even write new material and try it out right away," continued Heggie. "All of this culminates in an invaluable read-through of the piece with terrific singers. The creative team will be able to learn so much about the new opera, so we can have it in top form for the premiere. We are all grateful beyond measure."
Librettist Terrence McNally agreed. "A new American opera with an original libretto needs to be carefully nurtured and brought to life away from the rough-and-tumble world of full-scale production. Jake and I need the opportunity that Opera Fusion: New Works offers us to take Great Scott on the next step towards its world premiere in Dallas. We are a work in process. This recognition that operas are slowly, carefully made is important for the future development of new American operas. We've rolled up our sleeves and we're ready to work. And we're grateful for this precious opportunity."
"Jake Heggie has been piling triumph upon triumph of late, and the mere promise of him and McNally creating together once more was all it took for me to leap into the fray," said stage director Jack O'Brien. "Great Scott has all the requisite elements that make operatic theatre irresistibly compelling----a contemporary story of wit, passion, high theatrics, and stunning roles. This is a director's dream assignment."
Opera Fusion: New Works, a unique collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera, was created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas. The program offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati, utilizing the talent, personnel, and facilities of both organizations. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a public performance. The program is led by co-artistic directors Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at CCM. Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by a $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
"We are thrilled to be workshopping Great Scott," said Robin Guarino, co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works. "My personal ties with Jake Heggie go back to 2000, when I directed the world premiere of his first opera, Again, with the EOS Orchestra. Since then, Jake has become one of the foremost opera composers in America, and his work has been performed throughout the United States and Europe by singers such as Frederica von Stade, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Kiri Te Kanawa, Patti LuPone, and Bryn Terfel. It is an honor to have him in residence at CCM."
"I had the good fortune to work with Jake on the world premiere of Dead Man Walking in San Francisco, and I am excited that our Opera Fusion: New Works program will offer Jake and Terrence the opportunity to fine-tune their latest collaboration," said co-artistic director Marcus Küchle. "There is a huge amount of talent assembled in this creative team, and I am sure the results will be amazing."
In 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works awarded its first workshop to composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley in support of their new opera Doubt, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in January 2013. In 2012, Opera Fusion: New Works provided workshops for Champion, by composer Terence Blanchard and librettistMichael Cristofer, which premiered at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2013; andMorning Star, by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman, which will have its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 30, 2015. In 2013, the residency went to Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce. For more information, visit www.cincinnatiopera.org.
About Great Scott
Great Scott is set in an American city that boasts a respected but struggling opera company and a thriving football team. Arden Scott, the hometown girl who has become an international opera star, has returned to her roots to help save the company. She has chosen not a standard classic or a new work, but a long-lost bel canto opera she recently discovered: Vittorio Bazzetti's Rosa Dolorosa, Figlia di Pompeii, which has been gathering dust ever since its composition in 1835.
By chance, the opera company is set to give the world premiere the same night the local football team, the Grizzlies, will play in their first Super Bowl across town----an event that will be telecast to 100 million viewers. The owner of the team is married to the opera company's founder, Winnie Flato. Success on the field is no less important than Arden's and Maestro Bazzetti's in the opera house. No wonder Arden finds herself in a state of personal crisis over the career and life she has chosen as every conceivable disaster seems to await the company.
With a large cast and chorus, two mad scenes, an erupting volcano, and a difficult unknown score, will mere human resources be equal to the opera's inhuman demands? And a defeat at the Super Bowl could be end of Winnie's opera company as well.
About composer Jake Heggie
Jake Heggie is the American composer of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, To Hell and Back, and Out of Darkness: a triptych of Holocaust stories (Another Sunrise----Farewell, Auschwitz----For a Look or a Touch). He has also composed more than 250 art songs, as well as chamber, choral, and orchestral works. The operas----most created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer----have been produced extensively on five continents. Dead Man Walking (McNally) has received 40 productions since its premiere, as well as two live recordings. Moby-Dick (Scheer) was telecast in 2013 as part of "Great Performances" and was recently released on DVD. Heggie, a Guggenheim Fellow, has served as a mentor to Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative for young composers and librettists for the past two seasons. Upcoming commissions include The Radio Hour (Scheer) for the John Alexander Singers; a new project for Houston Grand Opera; songs for Kiri Te Kanawa at Ravinia; and The Work at Hand, Symphonic Songs for mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and cellist Anne Martindale-Williams, co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony and Carnegie Hall.www.jakeheggie.com
About librettist Terrence McNally
Terrence McNally was awarded the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He is the winner of Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, as well as his books for the musicals Ragtime and Kiss of the Spiderwoman. In 2010 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presented Terrence McNally's Nights at the Opera, a three-play festival of his work. His other plays include Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, A Perfect Ganesh, Corpus Christi, Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams, The Stendhal Syndrome, and Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Mr. McNally wrote the books for the musicals The Full Monty, A Man of No Importance, The Visit, and The Rink. He won an Emmy Award for Best Drama with his teleplay Andre's Mother. He wrote the screenplays for Frankie and Johnny, Love! Valour! Compassion!, and The Ritz. He also wrote the libretto for the opera Dead Man Walking with music by Jake Heggie. Among his many awards are a Citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, four Drama Desk Awards, three Hull-Warringer Best Play awards from the Dramatists Guild, two Obies, two Lortel Awards, and two Guggenheim Fellowships.
About director Jack O'Brien
Jack O'Brien served as the Artistic Director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre from 1981 through 2007. This fall, O'Brien will direct It's Only a Play on Broadway, starring F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, and Megan Mullally. He most recently directed the Broadway revival of Macbeth with Ethan Hawke. His Broadway credits also include The Nance, Dead Accounts, Catch Me If You Can, Impressionism, The Coast of Utopia (Tony Award), Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination), Henry IV (Tony Award), Hairspray (Tony Award), Imaginary Friends, The Invention of Love (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award),The Full Monty (Tony nomination), More to Love, Getting Away with Murder, Pride's Crossing, The Little Foxes, Hapgood (Lucille Lortel Award, Best Director), Damn Yankees, Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony nomination), and Porgy and Bess (Tony Award). He also directed Puccini's II Trittico for the Metropolitan Opera. Jack Be Nimble: The Accidental Education of an Unintentional Director, a memoir about the early years of his career, was released in the summer of 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
About conductor Evan Rogister
Evan Rogister has become one of the most talked about up-and-coming conductors on today's classical music scene. In spring 2014, he made his debut at the Washington National Opera leading performances of Jake Heggie's acclaimed new opera Moby-Dick.Rogister's recent opera engagements include his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in performances of Rigoletto and semi-staged performances of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire starring Renée Fleming, and a return to Santa Fe Opera in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison's Oscar. In summer 2012, Rogister led the first performances in a major U.S. theater of Karel Szymanowski's King Roger to great critical and public acclaim. He conducted a new production of La Bohème at Houston Grand Opera, the famed Robert Lepage production of Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung at Seattle Opera, critically acclaimed performances of a new production of Lohengrin at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, and staged performances of Otello with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Opera Fusion: New Works is sponsored by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cincinnati Opera's 2015 Summer Festival runs June 18 through July 31, featuring Giuseppe Verdi's
Il Trovatore, the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and William M. Hoffman's Morning Star, Gaetano Donizetti's Don Pasquale, and Giacomo Puccini's Turandot. The season will open with Opera in the Park, a free community concert in Washington Park, on June 7. Cincinnati Opera's 2015 season is made possible with support from ArtsWave, Ohio Arts Council, Macy's, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, and many generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Hänsel and Gretel (Nov. 20-23) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's magnificent Così Fan Tutte (April 9-12). The season also includes a guest artist recital by renowned German countertenor Andreas Scholl (Oct. 1), a double-bill cabaret lab production of Kurt Weill'sMahagonny-Songspiel and Paul Hindemith's Hin und zuruck (Oct. 24-26), and a Studio Series production of Monteverdi's masterpiece L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Feb. 20-22). CCM gratefully acknowledges the support of Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; All-Steinway School Sponsor: The Corbett Endowment at CCM; Community Partner: ArtsWave; Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy's; and Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal. For a full season schedule and additional information, please visit<a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?