An Opera in the Form of a Mass
Currently in development, the drama unfolds as an overlaid adaptation by Daron Hagen and Barbara Grecki of Rolf Hochhuth's trenchant, searing play over a celebration of the Mass. Opera speaks Truth to Power. The Catholic Mass is the Original (and probably the best) Opera. The musical structure will consequently be based on the organization of the Mass (with a large, mixed choir performing it) and the dramaturgical structure of the play will function "over" and "between" the Mass as it is sung in Latin, as recitatives over the Latin, and as arias (called Tropes in musicalizations) between Mass movements.
Since the Opera will take place in one setting, with asides for cutaway action and scenes, the Opera will be equally successful both in concert and fully-staged versions, rendering the Opera more viable, and therefore more easily produced.
PROJECTED PRODUCTION PARTNERS
The Crossing is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over seventy commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.
The Deputy, a Christian tragedy (German: Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel), also published in English as The Representative , is a controversial 1963 play by Rolf Hochhuth which portrayed Pope Pius XII as having failed to take action or speak out against the Holocaust. It has been translated into more than twenty languages. The play's implicit censure of a venerable if controversial pope has led to numerous counterattacks, of which one of the latest is the 2007 allegation that Hochhuth was the dupe of a KGB disinformation campaign. The Encyclopædia Britannica assesses the play as "a drama that presented a critical, unhistorical picture of Pius XII" and Hochhuth's depiction of the pope having been indifferent to the Nazi genocide as "lacking credible substantiation"."
The first English translation by Robert David MacDonald was published as The Representative, by Methuen in Britain in 1963. In America a second translation by Richard Winston and Clara Winston was published as The Deputy by Grove in New York, 1964. A letter from Albert Schweitzer to Hochhuth's German publisher serves as the foreword to the US edition. A film version titled Amen. was made by the Greek-born French filmmaker Costa-Gavras in 2002.
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF PHILADELPHIA
To be a sustainable musical institution that brings the intimate experience of a world-class chamber orchestra performance to the greater Philadelphia area, enriching the musical life of the City and region by the integrity and excellence of its musicianship, the boldness and vitality of its programming, and by cultivating and building the loyalty of its audiences, musicians and supporters.
A founding resident company of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is a 33-member professional ensemble led by Music Director Dirk Brossé. The Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1964 by Marc Mostovoy, has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the twenty-first century.
The Chamber Orchestra’s development was motivated, in part, by the desire to provide performance opportunities to young professional musicians emerging from the Curtis Institute of Music and other regional training programs, but also by a desire to make a substantial contribution to the city and the region’s cultural life. In addition to presenting its own productions, the Chamber Orchestra started to develop an entrepreneurial business model by seeking other performance opportunities among the region’s presenter/producer community, thereby providing supplementary employment for its members. The ensemble also championed new music, with a focus on local composers. In total, the organization has commissioned and premiered over seventy new works.
In 1994, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a concert pianist and conducting graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, joined the Chamber Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. In 1998, he was named Principal Conductor and, ultimately, Music Director in 2004. Maestro Solzhenitsyn, in assuming the position of Conductor Laureate in 2010, remains closely associated with the Chamber Orchestra. A conductor and composer of international acclaim, Maestro Dirk Brossé now enters his seventh season as Music Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. In the 2016-2017 season, the Orchestra will perform six programs from October through May in the Kimmel Center’s intimate, 600-seat Perelman Theater.
Over the course of the ensemble’s rich and diverse history, COP has performed with such internationally acclaimed guest artists as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Rudolph Serkin, The Eroica Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Romero Guitar Quartet, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Ben Folds, Branford Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Sylvia McNair, Steven Isserlis, Joseph Silverstein, Ransom Wilson, Gerard Schwarz, Jahja Ling, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, among others. The ensemble travels regularly, having toured the United States, Europe, and Israel.
PROJECTED CREATIVE TEAM
Daron Hagen composer, co-librettist, stage director
Barbara Grecki, co-librettist
Donald Nally, conductor
Victoria Bain, lighting designer