Gregg Wramage’s Death in Summer will be produced as a staged reading on March 16, 2008 at Manhattan School of Music’s Greenfield Hall. The performance will be part of the annual New American Opera Previews presented by Opera Index and hosted by Midge Woolsey. A panel of judges selected Death in Summer after seeing the opera’s opening scenes performed as part of Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes in Sep. 2007. Gregg (pictured left) was a composer for C&V’s 06-07 season. Past AOP/C&V projects presented at New American Opera Previews have included Renee Favand’s Exiles, Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King, and Conrad Cumming’s The Golden Gate. Adapted from the William Trevor novel by librettist Paul Bentley, Death in Summer tells the tragic story of a young English nanny obsessed with the widower father of her ward.
The latest group of composers and singers have been chosen to participate in the new season of Composers & the Voice! Scores of applications were culled through to find this year’s group of emerging artists who will study for a year at AOP to learn the ins and outs of writing for the operating voice.
2007-08 Composers & the Voice
Brooklyn audiences got a taste of Daniel Sonenberg‘s baseball opera The Summer King at a series of staged workshops performed around the borough this summer. AOP took to the streets of St. Mark’s Place and the fields of Fort Greene Park and captured the eyes and ears of people from every walk of life, many of whom had never heard live opera before. Based on the life of the Negro League star player Josh Gibson (portrayed by Kenneth Overton, left), The Summer King began its development as an opera as part of AOP’s Composers & the Voice series in 2002. For a profile of the Brooklyn performances, check out the article by Heidi Waleson in The Wall Street Journal.
“[Lost Childhood is] a powerful work which deserves to be presented many more times in Israel and the world over.” – Ora Binur, Maariv.
On July 29, the Janice Levin Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel was filled over capacity as audiences packed in for a chance to hear the first fully-staged workshop of Lost Childhood by Janice Hamer and Mary Azrael. The opera commissioned by AOP received huge ovations from a tearful crowd and raves from the press which can be downloaded here and here.