Washington National Opera: American Opera Initiative: Three 20-Minute Operas

Friday, November 21, 2014, 7:30 PM

Three new 20-minute operas will be staged in a concert performance, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra, and followed by a Q&A session with the artists and creative team.



Run Time:

90 minutes

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WNO's acclaimed commissioning program for contemporary American opera enters its third exciting season with three world premiere 20-minute operas by three teams of new opera composers and librettists. Each opera is based on a contemporary American story that highlights a very different aspect of American life and culture:

- The Investment by John Liberatore and Niloufar Talebi
- Daughters of the Bloody Duke by Jake Runestad and David Johnston
- An American Man by Rene Orth and Jason Kim 

These new works will be presented in a semi-staged concert performance with accompaniment by a small chamber orchestra conducted by Anne Manson and performed in English. Among the casts will be WNO's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and other talented guest artists. The evening will conclude with a Q&A session with the artists and creative teams, free with your ticket.

The composer/librettist teams will collaborate on their works with distinguished mentors who have each enjoyed professional success with new American operas: composer Jake Heggie (WNO's Moby-Dick), librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music), and conductor Anne Manson (Manitoba Chamber Orchestra). 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!"
Performance Timing: 90 minutes, with no intermission.

The Investment
Music by John Liberatore
Libretto by Niloufar Talebi
The Mohems are an Iranian American couple who enjoy an affluent life in Silicon Valley because of Mr. Mohem's success in venture capitalism. The two have recently purchased a large painting by Roxana Lieber, an emerging young artist they invite to lunch at their mansion. While discussing the painting, Roxana reveals her subject behind what appears to be just an abstract landscape--one that offends Mr. Mohem. As dormant differences erupt between Mr. and Mrs. Mohem, Roxana struggles with her own feelings about art and finds an unlikely sympathizer in the Mohems' newly immigrated maid.
Daughters of the Bloody Duke
Music by Jake Runestad
Libretto by David Johnston
Daughters of the Bloody Duke is a dark comedic one-act opera in which Margot, the young daughter of the Bloody Duke of Ravenswood, must choose between her growing love for her new husband and the demands of her revenge-crazed family.
An American Man
Music by Rene Orth
Libretto by Jason Kim
Wyatt Adams, America's rising political star, returns home for his estranged father's funeral. But when he reveals his hidden motive--to erase all record of his father's troublesome past--things begin to get complicated. Caught between his political ambitions and his desire to do the right thing, Wyatt must figure out what truly matters to him.


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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.

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