Washington National Opera: American Opera Initiative: New Hour-Long Opera: Penny
Friday, January 23, 2015 - Saturday, January 24, 2015

The young composer/librettist team of Douglas Pew and Dara Weinberg (AOI's 20-minute A Game of Hearts) was selected to create this season's hour-long world premiere, about a woman with a disability who discovers her talent for vocal music.

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About

The young composer/librettist team of Douglas Pew and Dara Weinberg--whose 20-minute opera A Game of Hearts wowed both critics and audiences during the American Opera Initiative's first season in November 2012--has been chosen for the program's world premiere hour-long opera in the 2014–2015 season.

Developed from an original story by Weinberg, Penny tells the tale of Penny Rutherford, a woman with a disability who discovers her talent for music, and the ensuing conflict with her family as she changes and grows more independent. The staging will be directed by Alan Paul (Associate Director of Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company) with Anne Manson conducting.

Cast:   
Penelope "Penny" Rutherford: Deborah Nansteel*
Katherine Tate: Kerriann Otaño*
Gary Tate: Trevor Scheunemann**
Mr. Jaeson Shaw: Wei Wu*
Raymond Fasten: James Shaffran
Martin Halstrom: Patrick O'Halloran*
*current Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist
**former Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist


Conductor: Anne Manson
Director: Alan Paul
Set Designer: Daniel Conway
Lighting Designer: Andrew Guban

Performance Timing: TBA

STAY AFTER FOR A FREE ARTIST Q&A
Following the performance on Friday, January 23

Join WNO artists for a unique opportunity to ask questions about the production.
All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

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ABOUT THE AMERICAN OPERA INITIATIVE
WNO's acclaimed commissioning program for contemporary American opera enters its third exciting season with more world premiere presentations featuring Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and other talented performers among the casts.

Says the Washington Post: "Encouraging new voices and new work is a good thing… and Washington National Opera is now in its third year of a program that is getting more music heard. Let's applaud it--and attend it!" Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun praises WNO's "expert mentoring" from program director Michael Heaston (also Head of Music Staff and Director of the Young Artists Program at The Glimmerglass Festival) and several distinguished advisors including composer Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking, WNO's Moby-Dick), librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for music), and conductor Anne Manson (Manitoba Chamber Orchestra).

Watch and Listen

Francesca Zambello discusses Penny

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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.