5 Cool Things about Living in the N.O.W.
Not sure why, but I’ve not yet ever posted anything in this blog about my own participation in the creation of a new opera. Well, today’s the day. Tempting though it is to devote this week’s post to urging you to attend tomorrow’s Met in HD Encore of Tosca–you should!–or this weekend’s Aïda at Opera Columbus–can’t wait!–I need instead for today’s post to be a personal one.
Fourteen months ago, in November 2016, I approached then sophomore at Kent State University Scott Little about a possible collaboration on opera. (I write words, not music, so if I wanted to play in this game, I was going to need to find a willing composer.) The collaboration has been even more amazing than I’d hoped, and this past Saturday, we had the pleasure of hearing two wonderful professional singers sing a twelve-minute excerpt from the opera we’ve been working on. It was awesome! Slotted into the New Opera Forum session of Cleveland Opera Theater’s New Opera Works (N.O.W.) Festival, those twelve exquisite minutes were sandwiched between a panel discussion about the creation of new opera works and an audience talk-back about our opera in progress, The Story of an Hour, based on the Kate Chopin story of the same name.
Here are 5 things that were awesome about the experience:
- Having family and close friends in the audience to hear words I’d written sung so beautifully.
- The stunning voices and gracious support of soprano Rachel Copeland and tenor Timothy Culver.
- Hearing such significant improvement in the Scott Little’s composition in the less than two months since we had a chance to hear five Kent State University vocal performance majors sing through the piece on December 1.
- Seeing Scott, who just turned 21 last month, blossom in the opportunity to direct rehearsals with professional singers for the first time in his young career.
- Coming away from the weekend more confident than ever that a) we will get a fully staged version of this one-act opera produced one day soon (don’t resist any temptation you might feel to send money to help with production costs) and b) that The Story of an Hour will not be the last opera for either me or Scott. In fact, I hope it won’t be our last opera together.
Now, go find a movie theater near you presenting Puccini’s Tosca tomorrow night–you won’t regret it!