Arts Ahpra Noozzzzz
posted by June 18 at 11:35 AMon
(*Absurd spelling in honourr of Nick Scholl, sometime Stranger web genius, sometime Stranger opera writer, all-time opera blogger, and, as Dave Segal once said, “original aesthete.”)
Not long ago, an American lutenist who’s as successful as an American lutenist can get returned to the city where he grew up: Seattle. His name is Stephen Stubbs, and he came here to found the Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera.
A private academy entirely devoted to baroque opera run by a master lutenist is pretty much the bomb all on its own, but Stubbs’s return also means there will be public performances of baroque opera, too.
I emailed Stubbs yesterday and got this response today:
There’s lot’s to tell. We have founded a new chamber opera company called Pacific Operaworks which will have its debut production next March with a production of Monteverdi’s Ulisse in the production of the South African artist William Kentridge who will come to town with the South African Handspring Puppet Company to direct the production. I will musically direct the singers and orchestra from Seattle and around the US. After that I have productions in the pipeline with a series of terrific stage directors including Stephen Wadsworth, Peter Kazaras and Mark Morris.
Could this be Seattle’s version of a great alternative to the big guy, like (the admittedly more general) New York City Opera?
Speaking of NYCO, it’s staging a Brokeback Mountain opera, to be composed by twelve-tonalist Charles Wuorinen. (Add that to recent news of an opera version of An Inconvenient Truth.)
Even better, here’s an NPR interview that just went up this morning with the aforementioned, crazy-spelling Nick Scholl about Brokeback and the subject of current-events operas (from Nixon in China to Marriage of Figaro). It’s a great listen. (From the host: “I’m just worried that the ‘Brokeback Mountain’ opera will lose to the ‘Crash’ opera.” Wah, wah.)
And here’s Nick’s blog, Trrill.