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Three Gertrude Stein Plays in the Shape of an Opera

Music by Daniel Thomas Davis
Libretto by Adam Frank (with Daniel Thomas Davis)
Based on a Short Plays by Gertrude Stein
Directed and Designed by Doug Fitch

About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances


When an oddball couple, their sassy housekeeper, a sewing machine, and a deranged radio all start singing, Gertrude Stein’s playful language is transformed into the ecstatic and uncannily beautiful new opera from composer Daniel Thomas Davis, librettist Adam Frank, and director-designer Doug Fitch. From a shopping expedition that turns into an erotic adventure to a presidential election party that goes prophetically and horribly wrong, Stein’s genius for upending convention is made startlingly relevant to our own cultural and political moment.

The three-act, ninety-five minute opera is scored for 4 singers, string quartet, piano, synthesizers and prerecorded audio.

The world premiere, presented by Symphony Space and American Opera Projects, will feature an all-star lineup including vocalists Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (Anonymous 4), Ariadne Greif and Andrew Fuchs, joined by the Momenta Quartet, pianist Dimitri Dover and musical director David Bloom.

Created and produced with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Praised as “ingenious” by The Guardian and for his work’s “vibrant ardor” by The New York Times, Daniel Thomas Davis creates vocal, instrumental and dramatic music that often reflects his fascination with the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the human voice – as well as his lifelong interest in American traditional musics. His music has been performed and/or recorded by Lynn Harrell, the Detroit Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Yarn|Wire, Lontano, Charlotte Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, BBC Singers, Ossian Ensemble, Ensemble X, 21st-Century Consort, Locrian Players, eighth blackbird, members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and instrumentalists from many of the world’s top orchestras (Chicago, Berlin, Philadelphia, London and Los Angeles). Highlights for the 2017-2018 season will include the premieres of two new operas – Six.Twenty.Outrageous at Symphony Space with American Opera Projects and Kith and Kin with North Carolina Opera. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, University of Michigan and Peabody, Dan serves as a professor and composition-program director at SUNY-Binghamton; he has previously taught at Duke University and the California College of the Arts. He has received fellowships and residencies from the British Government (Marshall Scholar), Bogliasco Foundation, Mellon Foundation and Yaddo, and has been honored by awards from BMI and ASCAP.

Adam Frank’s essays on affect, media, and American literature have appeared in ELH, Criticism, Critical Inquiry, and elsewhere. He has written Transferential Poetics, from Poe to Warhol (Fordham University Press, 2015), co-edited, with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader (Duke University Press, 1995), and produced two full-length recorded audiodramas, Overpass! A Melodrama (alien8recording, 2007) and Some Mad Scientists ( He currently teaches in the Department of English and co-chairs the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies at the University of British Columbia.


(director, designer)
As co-founder of the production company Giants Are Small, visual artist, designer, and director Doug Fitch directed several projects conducted by Alan Gilbert for the New York Philharmonic, including Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (cited as the top opera of 2010 by The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York), Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011, New York Magazine’s “Best Classical Event of the Year”), A Dancer’s Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky (2013, later screened in movie theaters worldwide); and HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale (2014, with forces from The Juilliard School as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Bienial). Mr. Fitch was the inaugural WBFO visiting artist at SUNY, where he created a devised opera of images, How Did We...? In 2013 he directed and performed in the premiere of Matthew Suttor’s musical setting of Blaise Cendrar’s poem La Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France with the Taos Chamber Music Group. He has created productions for Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Santa Fe Opera, and directed projects for Canada’s National Arts Centre, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tanglewood (Elliot Carter’s What Next?,screened at The Museum of Modern Art).

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Six. Twenty. OUTRAGEOUS.
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March 6, 2018 - I CARE IF YOU LISTEN
Opera review: "SIX.TWENTY.OUTRAGEOUS Transforms Gertrude Stein Plays into Opera"

February 15, 2018 - MUSICAL AMERICA
Opera review: "A New Gertrude Stein Opera: Chutzpah Rules"

Opera review: "Unparsable Lines + Beautiful Music = 6. 20. Outrageous."

February 10, 2018 - CONCERTONET
Opera review: "Daniel Thomas Davis: Six.Twenty.Outrageous"

December 21, 2018 - BROADWAYWORLD
Opera preview: "Gertrude Stein's Plays Inspire a New Opera by Daniel Thomas Davis"

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February 9-11, 2018
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025
Featuring Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, Ariadne Greif and Andrew Fuchs, with the Momenta Quartet and pianist Dimitri Dover
Music Direction by David Bloom; Directed and designed by Doug Fitch
Complete credits



September 18, 2017
Music Workshop of opera
South Oxford Space, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Music direction by Andrew Kurtz; Directed by Doug Fitch
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American Opera Projects, Inc. • 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.398.4024 •