Pittsburgh, PA…Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn has announced that Gregory Spears’s opera Paul’s Case is the Second Stage Project for 2014. The Second Stage Project is an additional showcase for the company’s Resident Artists, some of whom have gone on to sing on the world’s most famous stages. The opera runs February 22 – March 2, 2014 in the George R. White Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.
Paul’s Case, by 36-year-old Gregory Spears, with a libretto by Mr. Spears and Kathryn Walat, is based on Willa Cather’s 1905 short story. The work was developed at AOP since Mr. Spears was a fellow of AOP’s Composers & the Voice program during the ’07-08 season. Paul is a high school “dandy” whose artistic and social aspirations drive him to escape from sooty turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh. He defies his headmaster and his father, steals money, and goes to New York City to live the high life at the Waldorf Astoria. After a drunken night with a Yale student, reality comes crashing down, and Paul’s longings are crushed in a wrenching finale.
Scored for a nine-piece orchestra and seven singers, Paul’s Case premiered in April 2013 at Arlington, Virginia-based Urban Arias, earning rave reviews from The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Gregory Spears’s compositional style blends romanticism, minimalism, and early music; his work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (New York Times), and “some of the most beautifully unsettling music to appear in recent memory” (Boston Globe). His current projects include a new completion of Mozart’s Requiem, commissioned by Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra, to premiere in Fall 2013.
Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Stage Director George Cederquist directs Paul’s Case. Specific casting and other details will be announced in August 2013. All tickets are $40 in advance, available exclusively to Pittsburgh Opera season ticket buyers until August 26.
Image by Matthu Placek