The Scarlet Ibis

January 17-20, 2019
at Longy School of Music of Bard College

 

Music by Stefan Weisman
Libretto by David Cote

Based on the short story written by James Hurst, first published in the July 1960 edition of The Atlantic Monthly
Produced in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College

Used by permission of the exclusive agent: Bill Holab Music

Critical Acclaim

"an outstanding new chamber opera ... a moving, intense and dignified creation" 
 

-The New York Times

"The creative team for this piece deserves kudos for recognizing so ideal an operatic subject, rich in emotion that can best be expressed in music."

-The New York Observer

The Experience

Boston Opera Collaborative returns to Pickman Hall with the Boston premiere of a beautiful, haunting new opera based on the beloved short story by James Hurst. The Scarlet Ibis tells the story of Doodle, a remarkable boy with disabilities whose older brother pushes him to be “normal.”  Set in a mysterious swampland with a Southern Gothic vibe, The Scarlet Ibis combines singers, puppetry and a score that is both minimalist and lushly chromatic to explore notions of physical wholeness, mystical otherness, and the power to soar above physical limitations. Performed with a nine-piece orchestra, featuring Longy graduate students.

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BOCScarlet011519-3896

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Special Events

Thursday, January 17th @ 7pm in the Homburger Room
Pre-Show Champagne Reception with the Creators 

Tickets $30, limited availability
An exclusive reception featuring Prosecco and charcuterie from Bacco's Wine and Cheese on opening night with the creators of The Scarlet Ibis, Stefan Weisman and David Cote. Reserve Tickets

 

Friday, January 18th, directly after the show in Pickman Hall
Post-Show Panel with the Creators

Free
Join composer Stefan Weisman and librettist David Cote for a post-show discussion on the origins of their brilliant work, as well as an audience Q+A, moderated by BOC Concert and Outreach Coordinator Carley DeFranco. This discussion will be held on-stage immediately following Friday’s performance.

Saturday, January 19th @ 7pm in the Wolfinsohn Room
"What to listen for" with Director Greg Smucker and members of creative team
Free
Want to know what to listen for? Join Director Greg Smucker and members of the creative team for a brief, informative introduction to this haunting and poignant work.

Cast & Creative Team

Cast

Scott Ballantine (Father)
Scott Ballantine (Father)

Baritone, Scott Ballantine, returns to Boston Opera Collaborative (BOC) as a member for the 2018-19 season. Previous credits with BOC include Schaunard in La Bohème, Hannah Before in As One and Valmont in The Dangerous Liaisons. This season, he looks forward to expanding his specialty in contemporary opera as Father in The Scarlet Ibis. Ballantine spent the summer of 2018 with the Janiec Opera Company, where he had his role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. www.scottballantine.com

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Britt Brown (Mother)
Britt Brown (Mother)
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Lucas Coura (Doodle)
Lucas Coura (Doodle)

Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Brazilian-American countertenor Lucas Coura is thrilled to make his debut with Boston Opera Collaborative. In April of 2017, Lucas sang as an alto soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Simon Carrington conducting. He later sang Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea. This year, Lucas will also sing alto soloist in Händel’s Messiah at Memorial Congregational Church in Sudbury. Lucas holds a BM in Performance and Theory from Stetson University.

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Chan Wei En (Doodle)
Chan Wei En (Doodle)

Wei En has sung in concerts internationally, and highlights include Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the NEC Philharmonia and Concert Choir, conducted by Hugh Wolff. Wei En has been a winner and finalist at various vocal competitions in the US and was awarded the Ernst Bacon Prize for “Outstanding Performance of an American Song” at the 38th Annual Competition for Singers, organised by Civic Morning Musicals. Like Wei En on facebook @ChanWeiEnCountertenor

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Ann Fogler (Brother)
Ann Fogler (Brother)

Ann Fogler, mezzo-soprano, is Boston based. She has been featured as a young artist in the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation program at Central City Opera for the past two summers, and Ms. Fogler has performed as a soloist with Opera Hub, Boston Art Song Society, Old South Church, The Boston Conservatory, Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point, OC Ars Vocalis Academy in Rome, Italy, and the Music Festival of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy.

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Shannon Grace (Mother)
Shannon Grace (Mother)

Soprano Shannon Grace obtained her MM from The Boston Conservatory in Vocal Performance in 2013 and her BM in Voice from Ithaca College in 2010. This year she will be performing in BOC’s The Scarlet Ibis (Mother). Past BOC performances include: Dangerous Liaisons (Madame de Volanges), Mirror (Virginia Woolf in From the Diary of Virginia Woolf), Opera Bites 2015-2017 (Lucy, American Flag, Tempo Fuori del Tempo, The Act) and Our Town (Mrs. Webb).

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Emily Harmon (Auntie)
Emily Harmon (Auntie)

Mezzo-soprano Emily Harmon has appeared with companies including Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Beth Morrison Projects, and MetroWest Opera. Favorite past operatic roles include Amastre (Xerxes), the Marquise de Merteuil (The Dangerous Liaisons), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), and the Old Lady (Candide). In concert, Emily has performed the alto solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, and Arvo Pärt's Stabat Mater.

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Katherine Maysek (Brother)
Katherine Maysek (Brother)

Known for her vivid, touching vocal performances, mezzo-soprano Katherine Maysek is an artist equally at home on the stage and in the concert hall. Ms. Maysek loves the challenge of portraying vastly different characters, be they within song, oratorio, or opera. Katherine has appeared with The Glimmerglass Festival, Odyssey Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, American Symphony Orchestra, Opera Saratoga, MassOpera, Concord Chorale, Blanche Moyse Chorale and The Orchestra Now.

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Andrew Miller (Father)
Andrew Miller (Father)

American Baritone, Andrew Miller, is known for his "warm, robust baritone" and "fine comic sensibilities". Andrew made his BOC debut as Vicomte de Valmont in The Dangerous Liaisons. Previous credits include: Boston Midsummer Opera, Odyssey Opera, Opera Theater Cape Cod, OperaHub, NEMPAC Boston, The Boston Conservatory, Janiec Opera Company and Fort Worth Opera. Andrew trained at the Brevard Music Festival and completed his B.M. at The Boston Conservatory. Andrew is a native of Arlington, TX.

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Susannah Thornton (Auntie)
Susannah Thornton (Auntie)

New England based mezzo-soprano Susannah Thornton is equally at home performing operatic roles and interpreting art song. While earning her undergraduate degree at the University of New Hampshire, Thornton performed the role of L’Enfant (Ravel, “L’Enfant et les Sortileges:) as well as studying Hermia (Britten, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Dorabella (Mozart, “Cosi fan Tutte”), and Cherubino (Mozart, “The Marriage of Figaro”).

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Performing Thursday, Jan 17 & Saturday, Jan 19: Ann Fogler (Brother), Lucas Coura (Doodle), Britt Brown (Mother), Scott Ballantine (Father), Emily Harmon (Auntie)

Performing Friday, Jan 18 & Sunday, Jan 20: Katherine Maysek (Brother), Wei En Chan (Doodle), Shannon Grace (Mother), Andrew Miller (Father), Susannah Thornton (Auntie)

Creative Team

Jean Anderson Collier
Jean Anderson Collier
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Tian Hui Ng
Tian Hui Ng
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Roxanna Myhrum
Roxanna Myhrum
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Greg Smucker
Greg Smucker
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Patricia Weinmann
Patricia Weinmann
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Creators

Stefan Weisman: Composer

Stefan Weisman is a composer living in New York City. The New York Times called his music "personal, moody and skillfully wrought." When his song "Twinkie" was featured on the nationally syndicated program The Wendy Williams Show, the host called his work, "Very unique...Fabulous!" His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, and premiered to great acclaim at the East 13th Street Theater. Following a tour in Europe, Darkling was released by Albany Records. His one-act opera Fade premiered in London and also had successful performances in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Brooklyn. His opera, The Scarlet Ibis, premiered in the PROTOTYPE opera festival in NYC. The Wall Street Journal said it was "subtly subversive, and it's production groundbreaking." Following the Boston Opera Collaborative’s performances, The Scarlet Ibis will receive a new production by the Chicago Opera Theatre in February 2019.

David Cote: Librettist

David Cote is a playwright, librettist and arts journalist based in New York City. Operas include Three Way with Robert Paterson (Brooklyn Academy of Music & Nashville Opera); The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype festival, NYC) and Fade with Stefan Weisman; and the upcoming Blind Injustice (Cincinnati Opera) with Scott Davenport Richards and director Robin Guarino. In February, The Scarlet Ibis will also be produced by Chicago Opera Theater. The original cast album of Three Way was recently released by American Modern Recordings. David also wrote a dating-site song cycle with Paterson, In Real Life, and the Black Lives Matter piece for baritone and orchestra, Invitation to a Die-In, with Nkeiru Okoye. He’s developing a new opera with Weisman for soprano Lauren Flanigan called American Atheist. Plays include Otherland and Fear of Art. Alumnus of Bard College. MacDowell Colony fellow. More at davidcote.com. For Katy, my love.

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Scarlet Ibis premiered at the 2015 PROTOTYPE Festival

in a co-production between BETH MORRISON PROJECTS & HERE

Produced in Association with AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS