On Friday, March 25, at 8:00 pm, and on Sunday, March 27, at 2:00 pm, Stony Brook Opera and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra will present a double bill of two new one-act operas appropriate for the whole family: Peter Winkler‘s Fox Fables and Sheila Silver‘s The Wooden Sword. Both composers are faculty members at Stony Brook, and have long been active in Long Island’s cultural life.
Fox Fables is an operatic retelling of three animal fables: The Fox and the Grapes, The Fox and the Hen, and The Lion and the Fox. Though centuries old, these charming stories bear messages that are still relevant today. The libretto is by Rhoda Levine, the internationally acclaimed opera director and author of eight children’s books. Levine makes her Stony Brook directing debut with this world premiere. The conductor is Timothy Long, guest conductor with the Boston Lyric Opera and St. Louis Opera, and Associate Director of the Stony Brook Opera.
The Wooden Sword is the winner of the 2007 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Composition. This internationally prestigious award, presented by the University of Connecticut, is the largest composition prize given by any university in the world. The opera received its world premiere in November 2010 and will now have its New York premiere. With origins in Afghan and Jewish cultures, this folk tale of Hazim, the simple cobbler, and how his humility and cleverness provide insight for the mighty King Zamani, is one of the world’s archetypical stories. With a libretto by lyricist and music theater veteran Stephen Kitsakos, the production will be directed by innovative designer/director, Joachim Schamberger, who returns to the Stony Brook Opera following his acclaimed 2009 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. David Lawton, Artistic Director of Stony Brook Opera, who in 2001 delighted audiences with the world premiere of Silver’s first opera, The Thief of Love, will conduct.
With this double bill, Stony Brook Opera continues another three-year repertoire cycle that includes one Baroque opera, one contemporary opera, and a standard work. The current cycle began with last season’s production of Pier Francesco Cavalli’s 1667 opera Eliogabalo. Theatre Arts faculty member Jeanette Yew returns as lighting designer for the entire production.
Tickets are $20 general, $10 for students and senior citizens and are available at the Staller Center Box Office. There will be free pre-opera panel discussions with both composers in Theatre 2 one hour before the performance (7:00 pm on March 25, and 1:00 pm on March 27). For tickets, visit www.stallercenter.com or call (631) 632-ARTS. For more information, call the Department of Music at (631) 632-7330.
Operas Also Presented at Symphony Space, New York City
Thursday, March 31, 7:30 pm
Tickets for Fox Fables/The Wooden Sword at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space in New York City are between $15 and $29 and may be purchased in advance at www.symphonyspace.org or by calling (212) 864-5400. There will be a panel discussion with the composers and Symphony Space Artistic Director Laura Kaminsky at 6:30 pm.