OPERAS IN FORMATION
ARKHIPOV with Peter Knell
directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer
music director: Daniela Candellari
dramatugy: Cori Ellison
producer: Cath Brittan
Among the world's unsung heroes is Vasili Arkhipov, Deputy Fleet Commander of a squadron of Soviet submarines covertly carrying deadly nuclear weapons to Cuba. Arkhipov should, by rights, be a household name for having saved the world from imminent destruction at the fulcrum of the Cuban Missile Crisis—he prevented his submarine’s hot-headed captain from firing a nuclear warhead when be believed they were under attack by the Americans. This opera, which chronicles the events leading up to that pivotal moment and conjures a moving portrait of an extraordinary man, explores what drives the decisions our leaders make in times of crisis, the fallibility of our communications, and our vulnerability in the face of weapons of mass destruction. For 10 singers & 17 instrumentalists.
Libretto workshop: NYC, 2017; 1st music workshop: Pasadena, 2018, conducted by Daniela Candillari. Full music workshop slated for May 2020, in LA.
Sample available on request.
TAINARON with Jeremy Howard Beck
adapted from Leena Krohn's classic novella
An unnamed woman has sailed across the sea to Tainaron, a faraway city populated by insects. The woman sends a series of letters home to her beloved, who never responds. Recounting her explorations in this strange land, the woman plumbs the loaded terrain of what she has left behind and comes face to face with the cycles of life, death, rebirth and renewal, the metamorphosis that is the central fact of life here. A myth for now, Krohn’s dreamlike, haunting meditation on exile and memory is a story of immigration, of passage, a book of changes, with a powerfully theatrical potential. Conjuring a strange and delicate insect world, presently in dire peril, this sui generis source material calls for a unique sonic and visual language, “voices of a kind not heard [or seen] anywhere else.”
WALLIS with Jeremy Gill
directed by Kathleen Belcher
Frequently immortalized as having played a part in the greatest love story of the 20th Century, Wallis Simpson, “that woman,” the American divorcee for whom the King of England abdicated his throne, lost a great deal more than she gained when she left her second husband, Ernest Simpson, for Edward. The opera centers on the tense days of the abdication and a politically enforced separation leading up to Wallis and HRM’s wedding in the south of France (attended by a paltry handful of guests). Drawing on letters between Wallis and Ernest Simpson, Wallis explores the dynamics of what was, behind the tabloid headlines, a love triangle, and takes a hard look at the painful consequences of outsized ambition.
Sample available upon request.