Our Town (opera)

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Our Town is a three-act opera by composer Ned Rorem and librettist J. D. McClatchy. It is the first opera to be adapted from the Thornton Wilder play of the same name. The opera was commissioned by Indiana University, Opera Boston, the Aspen Music Festival and School, North Carolina School of the Arts, Lake George Opera in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Performance history[edit]

It was premiered by Indiana University Opera Theater with student singers and orchestra on 25 February 2006. Its professional debut was at the Lake George Opera on 1 July 2006. It covers the same ground as the play, dealing with birth, maturity and death. Rorem created pleasant melodies and sparseness to maintain the feel of the original production. The opera is virtually sung through, with little spoken dialogue. As with play, the libretto calls for no sets, a bare stage, and limited props. It was performed recently by the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music in Cleveland, Ohio.

The British and European première took place in the Silk Street Theatre at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama on 29 May 2012, directed by Stephen Medcalf and conducted by Clive Timms.

Opening night cast: (Main Roles: Played by)

  • Stage Manager (tenor): Stuart Laing
  • Emily Webb (soprano): Sky Ingram
  • George Gibbs (tenor): Alexandros Tsilogiannis
  • Mrs Gibbs (mezzo-soprano): Kathryn McAdam
  • Dr. Gibbs (bass): Barnaby Rae
  • Mr Webb (baritone): Ashley Riches
  • Mrs Webb (soprano): Emily Blanch
  • Simon Stimson, the choirmaster (tenor): Jorge Navarro-Colorado
  • Mrs Soames (mezzo-soprano): Anna Starushkevych

The opera was performed at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln November 12–15, 2009,[1] at Central City Opera in Colorado during the summer 2013 season and at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University February 21–23, 2014. A rare performance will be heard at the Eastman School of Music in April 2015.


External links[edit]