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THE SCARLET IBIS
Music by Stefan Weisman
Libretto by David Cote
Based on the story by James Hurst
About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances

ABOUT THE WORK

"an outstanding new chamber opera ... a moving, intense and dignified creation" - The New York Times

Brother is ashamed of his younger sibling, William, nicknamed Doodle. Doodle is sickly and weak. He wasn't expected to live, but he did. Mother and Father look after him as best they can. Doodle cannot walk, so Brother must push him along in a wheelbarrow to go places. One summer, Brother decides that enough is enough: He will teach Doodle how to walk. After much struggle, Doodle learns that, yes, he can stand and walk. So begins an exciting summer, during which Brother takes Doodle down to Old Woman Swamp, where they play and fight and let their imaginations run wild. Based on the classic 1960 story by James Hurst, The Scarlet Ibis is a family opera about brotherhood, illness and the power of the imagination to soar above physical limitations.

Composer Stefan Weisman—writing for a chamber orchestra—will explore the interior and exterior terrain of this brooding tale. Alternating minimalist and lushly chromatic music, he will evoke the mysterious swampland and hot, humid North Carolina clime, but also the special challenges that Doodle faces, and the ways in which children can be surprisingly cruel with each other. David Cote will write a lyrical and humorous libretto full of Southern Gothic chills and suspense and elemental, Biblical imagery.

The Scarlet Ibis was developed as part of the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP). www.here.org/resident-artists/project/the-scarlet-ibis/. The Scarlet Ibis is a project of HERE and Beth Morrison Projects, in association with American Opera Projects.

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ABOUT THE CREATORS

silversheilaSTEFAN WEISMAN
(composer)
Composer Stefan Weisman creates playful and brooding soundscapes described by The New York Times as "personal, moody and skillfully wrought." His works include chamber, orchestral and choral pieces, and he has specialized in vocal pieces that explore edgy and compelling topics. His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, premiered to great acclaim at the Classic Stage Company and toured Europe in 2007. His opera Fade, commissioned by Second Movement with additional development by American Opera Projects, premiered in London in 2008. Among his other commissions are works for Bang on a Can, Sequitur, and the Empire City Men's Choir. His song "I Would Prefer Not To," released on New Amsterdam Records, was selected by WNYC radio as one of the finest recordings of October 2010. Darkling was released on Albany Records in November 2011, and his piece Everywhere Feathers from Darkling was released by New Amsterdam Records in 2011. A graduate of Bard College and Yale University, and recently received a Ph.D. from Princeton University. His composition instructors include David Lang, Joan Tower, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, and Paul Lansky. www.stefanweisman.com

silversheilaDAVID COTE
(librettist)
David Cote is a librettist and playwright whose plays include: Otherland and the "final" scene to George Bernard Shaw's Why She Would Not (commissioned by Gingold Theatrical Group). Operas: Fade (composer Stefan Weisman), and Atigun Pass/Ice Road Trucker, a work-in-progress with composer Robert Paterson (C&V 2011-12). He wrote the text for Paterson's 2011 choral piece, Did You Hear? for the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Fade had its world premiere in October 2008 in London and subsequent concert performances in San Francisco and New York City. David directed GreenlandY2K at HERE (1999) and Assurbanipal Babilla’s acclaimed monologue Something, Something Über Alles at the Emerging Collector (1998) and the Kraine Theater (‘99). As an actor, David spent the 1990s working with Babilla and Purgatorio Ink Theater. He also appeared in Richard Foreman’s Pearls for Pigs (1997) and Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys & Indians (1998). He is theater editor of Time Out New York. He has also reported or blogged for The New York Times, The Guardian and Opera News. Fellowship: The MacDowell Colony (2009). www.davidcote.com

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VIDEO/AUDIO

 

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PHOTO GALLERY

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PRESS

January 14, 2015 - THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
Opera review: THE SCARLET IBIS Premiere production at Prototype 2015

January 13, 2015 - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Opera review: THE SCARLET IBIS Premiere production at Prototype 2015

January 13, 2015 - BROADWAY WORLD
Opera review: THE SCARLET IBIS Premiere production at Prototype 2015

January 09, 2015 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera review: THE SCARLET IBIS Premiere production at Prototype 2015

January 09, 2015 - NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW
Opera review: THE SCARLET IBIS Premiere production at Prototype 2015

January 07, 2015 - TIME OUT NY
Opera profile: "Why you should see my opera in the PROTOTYPE festival"

September 26, 2011 - CLOCKTOWER (Radio program)
Opera profile: "David Cote & Stefan Weisman, The Scarlet Ibis"

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AOP PERFORMANCES

January 2015 - WORLD PREMIERE
PROTOTYPE 2015
Presented by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects, in association with AOP
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013
Performances by Hai-Ting Chinn, Eric Brenner, Abigail Fischer, Keith Phares and Nicole Mitchell
Conducted by Steven Osgood
Directed by Mallory Catlett

February 3, 2014
CULTUREMART 2014
HERE and Beth Morrison Projects, in association with American Opera Projects present staged excerpts from the opera-in-development
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013
Performances by Hai-Ting Chinn, Eric Brenner, Abigail Fischer, Kyle Pfortmiller and Nicole Mitchell
Conducted by Steven Osgood
Directed by Mallory Catlett

November 9, 2012
Staged excerpts
Part of OPERA America New Works Forum, HERE co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects, in association with AOP
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013
Performances Sarah Brailey, Joanna Dionis, Brenda Patterson, Eric Brenner, David Schmidt, and pianist Mila Henry.
Conducted by Conrad Chu. Directed by Mallory Catlett.

February 7 & 8, 2012
CULTUREMART 2012
HERE and American Opera Projects present libretto reading and staged excerpts from the opera-in-development
HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013
Performances by Hai-Ting Chinn and Eric S. Brenner
Directed by Mallory Catlett

ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES

March 17, 2011
Opera excerpts presented by Bard College Conservatory of Music’s Vocal Arts Program
The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Hosted by Dawn Upshaw

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