Bum Phillips (opera)

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Bum Phillips
Opera by Peter Stopschinski
Bum Phillips Opera.jpg
Gary Ramsey as Bum in the world premiere in 2014
LibrettistKirk Lynn
Based onBum Phillips: Coach, Cowboy, Christian
by Bum Phillips
15 March 2014 (2014-03-15)

Bum Phillips is an opera in two acts by American composer Peter Stopschinski. Kirk Lynn wrote the English language libretto based on Bum Phillips' memoirs Bum Phillips: Coach, Cowboy, Christian. The opera was conceived by theater director Luke Leonard and commissioned by Monk Parrots, Inc. as described in a 2014 Sports on Earth article titled "A Night at the Bum Phillips Opera".[1]

Performance history[edit]

  • February 2013 – Workshop performance of act 1 produced by Post Theatre Company at Long Island University-Post and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.
  • March 15–30, 2014 – World premiere in the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York. The performance was attended by former NFL players and Houston Oilers, Dan Pastorini and Lawrence Harris, and Bum Phillips' son and NFL coach, Wade Phillips. It was conducted by Peter Stopschinski, performed by American Modern Ensemble, and directed and designed by Luke Leonard. Dan Pastorini reacted, "Bum Phillips and opera don't belong in the same sentence ... And I sat there and I watched this thing unfold for two hours, and at the end of it I had tears coming down my cheeks," and Wade Phillips responded, "It certainly meant a lot to us. Meant a lot to me ... Not many people get a tribute to them in any way and this opera did it for us."[2]
  • September 24, 2015 – Benefit performance produced by Dan Pastorini Charity at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas. The performance was introduced by Dan Pastorini and attended by NFL players Earl Campbell, Billy Johnson, Ken Burrough, Robert Brazile, and others.[3]


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 15 March 2014
(conductor: Peter Stopschinski)
Bum Phillips baritone Gary Ramsey
Debbie Phillips mezzo-soprano Alison Bolshoi
Mom soprano Anna Noggle
Clara Lynn (Adult) soprano Chelsea Burris
Three TV Announcers: Color 1, Play by Play, Color 2 1 soprano, 1 mezzo-soprano, 1 tenor Jessie Dean, Briana Hunter, Victor Khodadad
Daughter soprano Megan Lalley
Bud Adams/Dad bass-baritone John Smiley
Earl Campbell bass Anlami Shaw
Gifford Nielsen tenor Hunter Frederick
Mike Barber tenor Patrick Mulryan
Clara Lynn (Child) alto Gates Leonard
Dan Pastorini/Mike Renfro actor Joey LePage
Ken Burrough actor Emmanuel Elpenord
Ensemble/Chorus: Townspeople of Orange, Texas, Phillips women, referee, Oilers fans, Derrick Doll, prisoners, Jesus


The work is scored for one violin, one bass, two French horns, one drummer, percussion, and two pianos (one Fender Rhodes).


  1. ^ Tanier, Mike. "A Night at the Bum Phillips Opera". Sports on Earth. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  2. ^ Ward, Dave. "Opera about former Oilers coach Bum Phillips' life comes to Houston". ABC13. ABC 13 Eyewitness News. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ Bechtel, Mark (October 5, 2015). "Bum Rush: The fat lady sings about an Oilers icon". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 3 August 2017.

External links[edit]