Project

paulscase

PAUL'S CASE

Music by Gregory Spears
Libretto by Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat
Based on the story by Willa Cather

About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances

ABOUT THE WORK

"[a] masterpiece... tempting to call it 'the best new opera I've heard in years'"
- James Jorden, NY Observer

"...the piece is nearly ready to claim a place in the chamber opera repertoire – thanks to a long-haul development process for which American Opera Projects deserves much credit.”
- David Patrick Stearns, Arts Journal

Paul’s Case is a two act evening length chamber opera for seven singers [S.S. M-S.T.T.B.B] lasting approximately 85 minutes. The opera chronicles the dissolution of a high school dandy living in sooty turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh. Paul, who spends his free time working as an usher at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Hall, eventually runs away to revel in the luxury of New York City's Waldorf Astoria hotel. The vocal lines, both pastoral and mechanistic, suggest the world of nature, luxury and art that Paul loves and the gilded-age machinery that will eventually destroy him. The opera may be performed with or without an intermission in small to medium sized opera houses. Instrumentation: 2cl, hp, pno, string quintet

Paul's Case was developed in part with generous grants from the BMI Foundation, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts's ART WORKS initiative, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

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ABOUT THE CREATORS

spearsGREGORY SPEARS
(composer/co-librettist)
Gregory Spears writes instrumental and vocal music that blends stylistic aspects of romanticism, minimalism, and early music. His music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, American Opera Projects, the NOW Ensemble, Present Music, So Percussion, the Sebastian Chamber Players, and eighth blackbird. He has been commissioned by Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), OPERA America, the New York Youth Symphony, the Present Music Ensemble, countertenor Ryland Angel, and choreographer Christopher Williams. Spears was more recently commissioned by poet Tracy K. Smith to write two songs for the Rolex Arts Weekend at the New York Public Library and by the JACK Quartet to write a piece based on his experience as composer-in-residence at the Buttonwood Psychiatric Unit. New Amsterdam Records released his early music-inspired chamber Requiem in 2011. His new Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei for the Mozart Requiem was commissioned and premiered this season by Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra. Spears is currently working on a new opera Fellow Travelers in collaboration with librettist Greg Pierce and director Kevin Newbury, which was workshopped this fall at Cincinnati Opera/CCM (Opera Fusion). Other projects include a dance-opera, Wolf-in-Skins, with choreographer Christopher Williams, currently in development at AOP. Spears has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, the Aaron Copland House, and the MacDowell Colony. Selected chamber works are published by Project Schott NY (PSNY).www.gregoryspears.com

KATHRYN WALAT
(co-librettist)
Kathryn Walat is a playwright. Her play Creation – about music, obsession, and the artistic process – was nominated for a 2013 LA Ovation Award for Playwriting for its premiere at the Theatre @ Boston Court (in Pasadena), and was developed at the O’Neill Theatre Center/National Playwrights Conference. Her play Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen premiered Off-Broadway at the Women’s Project, and was published in New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2007. Other works include This Is Not Antigone (New Georges’ Germ Project), On the Road: Anthology Project (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Bleeding Kansas (Hangar Theatre; Francesca Primus Citation), Know Dog (Salvage Vanguard Theater), and Johnny Hong Kong (Perishable Theater). She has received commissions from MCC Theater (also a Playwrights Coalition member), New Georges (also an Affiliated Playwright), Yale Repertory Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her work has been developed at The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, The Lark, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and The Orchard Project; and published by Playscripts and Samuel French. Kate is a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a recent Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. BA: Brown University, MFA: Yale School of Drama. www.kathrynwalat.com

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VIDEO/AUDIO

 
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PHOTO GALLERY

COMING SOON

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PRESS

February 23, 2014 - PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Opera review: Pittsburgh premiere of PAUL'S CASE

February 21, 2014 - 90.5 WESR (Pittsburgh NPR)
Opera profile: "Opera Based on Willa Cather Story Highlights Struggle of Early 1900s Pittsburgh 'Dandy'"

February 19, 2014 - PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Opera profile: "Pittsburgh Opera tackles complexities of 'Paul's Case'"

February 3, 2014 - THE NEW YORKER
Opera review: NYC Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

January 21, 2014 - WALL STREET JOURNAL
Opera review: NYC Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

January 14, 2014 - THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
Opera review: NYC Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

January 10, 2014 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera review: NYC Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

January 9, 2014 - NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW
Opera review: NYC Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

January 7, 2014 - TIME OUT NY
Opera profile: "Prototype Festival: An interview with composer Gregory Spears"

April 29, 2013 - ARTS JOURNAL
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 24, 2013 - SCENE4.COM
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 23, 2013 - DCTHEATRESCENE.COM
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 22, 2013 - WASHINGTON POST
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 22, 2013 - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 21, 2013 - DC METRO THEATER ARTS
Opera review: World Premiere of PAUL'S CASE

April 19, 2013 - WASHINGTON CITY PAPER
Opera profile: "Composer Gregory Spears on Paul’s Case of Disaffected Dandyism"

September 13, 2009 - MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL
Opera review: Workshop of PAUL'S CASE

December 13, 2009 - PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Best of 2009: Workshop of PAUL'S CASE

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AOP PERFORMANCES

May 29-31, 2009
South Oxford Space, Brooklyn, NY and Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Developmental workshop of Act I
MUSIC DIRECTION: Jennifer Peterson
PERFORMANCES BY: Marcus DeLoach, Chad Johnson, Hai-Ting Chinn, Kirsten Chambers, Katherine Wessinger

October 3-4, 2008
South Oxford Space, Brooklyn, NY
Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes presents Scene 1
MUSIC DIRECTION: Jennifer Peterson
STAGE DIRECTION: Ned Canty
PERFORMANCES BY: Jennifer Berkebile, Marcus DeLoach, Abigail Fischer, Melissa Fogerty, Thomas Wazelle

OTHER PERFORMANCES

UPCOMING!
February 22 - March 2, 2014
- PITTSBURGH PREMIERE
George R. White Studio, Pittsburgh Opera headquarters, Pittsburgh, PA
Presented by Pittsburgh Opera
Conductor: Glenn Lewis
Director: George Cederquist
Performed by: Daniel Curran, Alex DeSocio, Phillip Gay, Rebecca Belczyk, Samantha Korbey, Nicole Rodin
TICKETS AND INFO: http://www.pittsburghopera.org/shows/view/40

January 8-13 2014 - NYC PREMIERE
HERE Arts Center, New York, NY
Presented by Beth Morrison Productions and HERE as part of the 2014 PROTOTYPE Festival
Conductor: Robert Wood
Director: Kevin Newbury
Performed by: Jonathan Blalock, Amanda Crider, Keith Phares, Erin Sanzero, Jim Shaffran, Michael Slattery, Melissa Wimbish
Set Design: Tim Mackabee / Costume Design: Amanda Seymour / Light Design: Eric Southern / Stage Manager: Michael Sperber
Keith Chambers (Piano) / American Modern Ensemble

April 20-28, 2013 - WORLD PREMIERE
Artisphere, Washington D.C.
Presented by UrbanArias
PERFORMANCES BY: Jonathan Blalock, Keith Phares, Melissa Wimbish, Amanda Crider, Michael Slattery, Erin Sanzero and James Shaffran
STAGE DIRECTION: Kevin Newbury
MUSIC DIRECTION: Robert Wood
Lighting Design by Eric Southern, Costumes by Amanda Seymour, Set Design by Timothy Mackabee

September 9-13, 2009
The Lantern Theater, Philadelphia, PA
Center City Opera Theater presents
Concert workshop of Act I & II
MUSIC DIRECTION: Andrew M. Kurtz
STAGE DIRECTION: Albert Innaurato
PERFORMANCES BY: Siddhartha Misra, Branch Fields, Chloe Moore, Toni Marie Palmertree, Hai-Ting, Chinn, Jean Bernard Cerin, Kyle Bielfield

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Paul's Case image photo by Matthu Placek

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