The News from Poems
Rehearsals are under way for the semi-staged reading at the American Opera Center April 10. The cast is extraordinary: Keith Phares, baritone, as William Carlos Williams; Katherine Pracht, mezzo, as his wife Floss; John Taylor Ward, bass-baritone, as Ezra Pound. A stellar ensemble of 8 singers and 4 musicians, fielded by ASCAP/CMA 2016 award winning ensemble Cantata Profana, led by artistic director Jacob Ashworth. Louisa Proske, fresh from yet another hit, Heartbeat Opera’s Lucia, is directing. Williams, Flossie and I are in fantastic hands!
She Never Lost a Passenger
I am tremendously excited that Lyric Opera of Kansas City is going to premier the new orchestration of my first commissioned opera. This story of Harriet Tubman has been produced around the country continuously over the past 22 years. The production will be the centerpiece of the Lyric’s renowned Opera Camp with soprano Roberta Gumbel and tenor Nathan Grannar reprising their roles from the original production as Harriet Tubman and Philadelphia abolitionist/historian William Grant Still.
I’m also pleased to report that Opera Kansas did a second round of performances this year of Passenger, touching a few thousand more children and teachers with her story in music. Again, hats off Paul Brodene Smith in Wichita!
Postcards from America
It’s always nice to hear from people who are performing pieces of mine. Ben Serna-Grey will be performing the oboe and piano work on his master’s recital at University of British Columbia on April 24.