Kings Man/ Danse Russe

Kentucky Opera’s Contemporary Opera Series
presents two one-act operas:

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – (September 9, 2013)… On Friday, October 11 at 8pm and Saturday, October 12 at 2pm, Kentucky Opera will present two one-act operas THE KINGS MAN and DANSE RUSSE at the Margaret Comstock Concert Hall at the University of Louisville School of Music. This program is a part of Kentucky Opera’s Contemporary Opera Series and both works were created by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Paul Moravec and Wall Street Journal Arts Critic, Terry Teachout. General admission tickets are $25 and are available by calling 502.584.4500.

This opera in one-act is still in its infancy, and will be presented in a workshop format with piano accompaniment.

Setting: 1785 in the London library of William Franklin
Synopsis: One year after the official end of the American Revolutionary War, Ben Franklin is returning home but stops in London to see his son William. The year is 1785 and William has been exiled from the United States for three years. A widower since 1777, William is engaged to Mary Johnson d’Evelin. William is anxious about the meeting and tells Mary that there’s more to his father than the public image. Ben arrives and the tension between the two men is palpable. They argue over William’s debts and neither is able to set aside the anger over taking opposite sides during the War. Ben storms out leaving a despondent William. Back in Philadelphia, Ben struggles with the decision to write William out of his will.

Marco Cammarota+ William Franklin – the illegitimate son of Ben Franklin now banished to London and engaged to Mary
Cesar Mendez-Silvagnoli+ Ben Franklin – cannot forgive his son for siding with the British during the American Revolutionary War and eventually disowns him
Danielle Messina+ Mary Johnson d’Evelin – William’s fiancée who is enamored and perhaps intimidated by the formidable presence of Benjamin Franklin
David Roth Stage Director
Kimcherie Lloyd Conductor

An opera in one act, DANSE RUSSE was first performed April 28, 2011 at the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA with Center City Opera and members of Orchestra 2001. This production will be sung in English with supertitles above the stage.

Setting: Before, during and after the May 1913 premiere of THE RITE OF SPRING
Synopsis: Igor Stravinsky thinks back to the opening night of THE RITE OF SPRING; the other players arrive including producer Sergei Diaghilev, ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and conductor Pierre Monteux. Each discusses his role in the creation of the ballet. Diaghilev suggests that this new work should create a scandal and continues to push Stravinsky and Nijinsky to make their new ballet brutal, crude, modern and scary. Stravinsky is still a little concerned over this approach but he and Monteux admit that they will do whatever Diaghilev asks. As Stravinsky composes, the others start to see the possibilities and they realize the audience will likely respond negatively – they do. Stravinsky returns to his reminiscence of that partnership and realizes that all of the others are either dead (Monteux and Diaghilev) or in a mad house (Nijinsky). He is alone. He remembers the time before the war, a world of kings and queens and czars – destroyed by blood and iron. Alth ough he has never returned to Russia, he tries to remember the Russian spring and how very beautiful it was.

Brad Raymond Igor Stravinsky – composer of the revolutionary THE RITE OF SPRING (1913); one of the most influential composers of the 20th century
John Arnold Sergei Diaghilev – impresario of Ballets Russes and the producer of THE RITE OF SPRING
Sergio Gonzalez+ Vaslav Nijinsky – premiere ballet star and choreographer for Ballets Russes and is often considered one of the greatest male dancers of the early 20th century
Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek Pierre Monteux – well-known conductor in Europe and America; conducted the premiere of THE RITE OF SPRING
Michael Ramach Stage Director
Kimcherie Lloyd Conductor

Paul Moravec: Composer

Paul Moravec, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed over one hundred works for the orchestral, chamber, choral, lyric, film, and operatic genres. He is University Professor at Adelphi University, recently served as the Artist-in-Residence with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and in 2010 he was recently elected to the American Philosophical Society.
Mr. Moravec’s first opera, THE LETTER, commissioned by Santa Fe Opera, with libretto by Terry Teachout, premiered in the 2009 season. Other recent premieres include DANSE RUSSE, a one-act comic opera for the 2011 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

Terry Teachout: Librettist

Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of “Sightings,” a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. He also writes about the arts for National Review and other magazines, as well as on his blog, “About Last Night” ( Satchmo at the Waldorf, his first play, was premiered in 2011 in Orlando, Florida, and was produced in 2012 by Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, Massachusetts, Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Connecticut, and Wilma Theater of Philadelphia. His latest book, Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, will be published by Gotham Books on October 17. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 to support the writing of the book.

About the Contemporary Opera Series

The Contemporary Opera Series is an evolution of the Composer Workshop begun in 2009 in partnership with the University of Louisville School of Music. This partnership program allows American composers and librettists the opportunity to fully realize their operatic visions as well as to connect to young singing artists in Kentucky Opera’s Studio Artist Program and students at the University of Louisville School of Music. Composers in residence have included Jake Heggie, Ben Moore and Daron Hagen.

This program is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Currently in its 61th season of production, Kentucky Opera was founded in 1952 and designated the State Opera of Kentucky in 1982. The mission of Kentucky Opera is to entertain and educate a broad, diverse audience by producing opera of the highest quality.
Puccini’s LA BOHÈME September 20 & 22
Verdi’s SIMON BOCCANEGRA November 15 & 17
Gounod’s ROMÉO ET JULIETTE February 14 & 16

Event Details

Date: Oct 11, 2013
Starts: 8:00 PM | Ends: 2:00 PM
Margret Comstock Concert Hall
School of Music University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Phone: 502.584.4500