Opera by Professors and Alumni Makes International Debut at Italian Film Festival
Submitted on Tuesday, 11/4/2014, at 12:00 PM
On a big screen in Milan last month, in front of an audience that totaled more than 18,000 people over the course of four days, an innovative Amherst chamber opera set to film made its international debut during the city’s Design Film Festival.
See the Amherst College Press Release on the production. https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/news/news_releases/2013/09-2013 An excerpt: "The opera shows the last three days of the Daley/Halligan case through the eyes of Father Jean Cheverus, a prominent priest based in Boston whose own haunted past—as a refugee from the French Revolution—led him to aid the accused."
Booking information from the Academy of Music webpage:
Local History, and an Unjust Execution, Take Center Stage in Professor’s New Opera
Submitted on Monday, 9/23/2013, at 10:31 AM
In Northampton, Mass., in 1806, two Irish immigrants, Dominic Daley and James Halligan, were hanged in front of 15,000 cheering spectators for a murder they did not commit. This September, Northampton’s Academy of Music staged world-premiere performances of The Garden of Martyrs, a new opera that dramatized this miscarriage of justice. The opera featured music by Amherst College’s Associate Professor Eric Sawyer and libretto by UMass Professor Harley Erdman.
“To Hear a Sound is to See a Space”: Professors and Alumni Collaborate to Build ARCHITECT Opera
Submitted on Tuesday, 11/22/2011, at 11:40 AM
November 15, 2011
During her time studying at Yale in the 1980s, Professor of Music Jenny Kallick was struck by what she calls the “sacred essence” of two of the New Haven school’s buildings, the Art Gallery and the Center for British Art. That she was drawn to those two particular facilities was no coincidence: both were designed by award-winning architect Louis I. Kahn, a major figure in 20th-century architecture.
[Opera] Lewis Spratlan, an emeritus professor of music, and James Maraniss, a Spanish professor, wrote an opera (Spratlan the music, Maraniss the libretto) in the late 1970s while living in adjacent apartments. Life is a Dream, based on the 17th-century Spanish play La vida es sueno, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music (for Act II, concert version) but has never been performed in full. Until now. The opera will premiere this summer at the Santa Fe Opera,
Hi, My name is Lester Hu; in fact, my legal first name is Zhuqing, a Chinese word from a 7-century poem which means "a lonely island surrounded by clear water in a lake." Lester is a name that I have randomly picked up as my English name when I was 12 I guess.
A nonprofessional opera-goer views opera differently from a professional musician or critic, and a nonprofessional's point of view is as valid as a professional's from which to offer an opinion on new operas. After all, we nonprofessionals form almost all of the audience for opera, and without an audience there would be no opera.