If you've been following my blog posts this summer you know I was writing about the 20th and 21st century opera that Marble City Opera has produced. I took a short break to talk about mitigation plans, producing during a pandemic, and our Pagliacci performance, but now I'm back talking about modern American opera. I will be taking a little more time to focus on each of these operas, many of which are premieres, and showing photos, clips, hosting interviews, and watch parties to give a more complete look at what these operas are all about. This month we're focusing on two operas by Larry Delinger, Talk to Me Like the Rain and Amelia Lost. You may feel like you've heard a lot about Larry Delinger, and next week you'll get to hear from him at our Marble City Opera Facebook Live event, September 17th at 6pm.
I produced these two operas by Larry in MCO's second season. Two world premieres in our second season might sound ambitious, but they set us on a journey towards our mission, producing traditional operas in non-traditional ways, and under represented and new American chamber operas. You might ask, why Larry and why his operas. Well, it's a funny thing you should ask. I was introduced to Larry's compositions by Kevin Class, a wonderful pianist and the opera conductor at the University of Tennessee. UT was going to be producing a premiere of Larry's Medea as well as hosting a festival of his works throughout the music department. Dr. Class handed over many of Larry's handwritten manuscripts to me one afternoon at the Crown & Goose pub in the Old City, (where all good ideas formulate), and said there were a few smaller cast, shorter operas that MCO might be interested in! Sure enough, Talk to Me Like the Rain was amongst these manuscripts, as well as an unfinished Amelia Lost, so we joined the Delinger Fest and produced these two opera on a double bill in 2014.
Today I'm going to focus on the one-act 30-mintue opera, Talk to Me Like the Rain based on The Tennessee Williams play of the same name. Talk to Me Like the Rain like the play has two characters, man and woman, bass-baritone and soprano, and is composed for chamber orchestra of 11 musicians. The opera takes place in a New York City apartment. The man is recovering from a hangover and tells his wife (woman) his adventurous tale of being abused on the streets while he was nearly passed out drunk. The two of them have been living in this small apartment, but meanwhile there is a large distance between them emotionally. The woman goes on to express her desire to leave and live the rest of her life in a hotel near the beach, and all the simple little quiet things that she will do, and even though she's alone she won't mind because everything will be clean.
"Directed by Calvin MacLean, the pair wove a satisfying web of drama around their characters, highlighted by gutsy and extremely likable vocal performances." - Alan Sherrod, Arts Knoxville. Read the full review here. https://artsknoxville.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/review-marble-city-operas-premieres-a-stunning-success/
This Friday, September 11 at 7:30pm EST we will be hosting a watch party of the World Premiere performance at The Square Room in October, 2014. The performance can be found on our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MarbleCityOpera/posts/2127613870716810
Other Events on Facebook live this month:
Thursday, September 17th at 6pm - Behind the Scenes with Larry Delinger
Friday, September 25th at 7:30pm - Watch Party of Amelia Lost (World Premiere Performance)
Please join us over the course of the month to learn, watch, and listen to these fabulous short one-act American operas!
Daniel Webb sang the role of man, Krista Wilhelmsen sang the role of Woman, Cal MacLean directed, and Gene Peterson conducted. The production was filmed by Philip Marlowe with lighting by Chris Bullock, video design by Kristin Geisler. The orchestra included Abbie Fields, Wes Charlton, Daniel Shifflett, Lydia Schoen, Carrie Tedder, Casey Wise, Donnie Barnett, Dale Disney, Laura Gustafson, Eric Greenep, Lauren Asimakoupoulos, and Brandon Coffer.