Seattle Opera - O+E

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Seattle Opera.

O+E

Jun. 2-10, 2018

Love's Journey to Hell and Back

Overview

A chamber opera presented by our Programs & Partnerships Department
Music by Christoph Gluck
Original Libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi
English-language Libretto by Lucy Tucker Yates

Journey to hell and back with a new twist on Gluck’s classic telling of Orpheus and Eurydice. A groundbreaking adaptation of the legendary protagonist’s descent into grief and subsequent return to grace receives an intimate staging with all-female leading characters and creative team.

In this timeless tale of love lost, lamented, and reborn, the anointed artist O slips into a feverish dream while sitting vigil at the hospital bedside of her mortally wounded wife. In the blink of an eye, O experiences a flood of emotional trials which threaten to forever extinguish the bond she shares with her beloved E. After demonstrating the depth of their love, O and E are led back from the brink by A (Amore) – the surgeon with the power to save E's life.

Performed at Seattle Opera Studios, 200 Terry Avenue North, Seattle.

Performed in English.
Approximate running time is 80 minutes with no intermission.

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Synopsis

Director's Statement

Stage director Kelly Kitchens brings O+E  to life with an all-female creative team and cast of singers. In this new twist on the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and their universal story of love and loss, O is an artist waiting by the bedside of her wife E, a soldier. A (Amore), traditionally depicted as a goddess, is the surgeon whose hands determine their fate.

“We tell this story with two women, a married couple, because love is universal,” Kitchens says. “We should all be free to express our love—and grief—for the people we care about.”

Kitchens was inspired to place the opera in a dreamlike hospital room after almost losing her own husband. As O prepares for the worst, she will ask herself what she could have done differently. When the surgeon advises her not to “look,” how can she not follow her memories to a last argument or to their last best day?

Together, the couple journeys the psychological landscape of their love and their fears of losing each other. “Our production holds space for those who have lost a loved one,” says Kitchens. “It’s an offering of love, light, and music amid the darkness.”


The Story of O+E

The opera will be an English translation. The music is Gluck’s original music (these roles are often performed by two female singers). There will be no intermission.

A new English version of Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice

Characters
O (Orfeo)—an artist, wife to E
E (Euridice)—a soldier, wife to O
A (Amore)—the surgeon who holds O and E’s fate in her hands.

The Story
A prepares to perform surgery. O, sitting by her wife’s bed, prepares for the worst. While E is taken into surgery, O’s mind dives into the nightmare of losing her wife. She ventures into a landscape of her memories of E. Some of these places are full of darkness: a war zone where E fought; an argument between them; regrets and questions. What could I have done differently to save E? Some places—including their last best day together, their love, the healing power of O’s art—are full of light. O sees E again in the land of the dead, but this second chance comes with conditions: O can bring E back, but only if she doesn’t look at E. If O looks, she will lose E forever.

O’s hellish journey is interrupted when A returns with the news.

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Cast

Magda Gartner

O

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: O (Orpheus), O+E

Magda Gartner makes her Seattle Opera debut with these performances of O+E. Last spring she made her New York City Opera debut as La terza Elfe in Respighi’s La campana sommersa at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She later appeared as La Aurora (The Dawn) in Los Elementos at Harlem Stage with New York City Opera. In the fall she performed Aurelio in L’assedio di Calais with Odyssey Opera Boston. She recently made her Opera Carolina debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro.

Last updated: June 2018

Magda Gartner

O

Seattle Opera Debut

Tess Altiveros

E

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: E (Euridice), O+E

Tess Altiveros returns to Seattle Opera to perform the role of E in Seattle Opera’s O + E. Last season she performed Clorinda in Seattle Opera’s The Combat.  Recent performances include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Skylark Opera, Euridice in L’Orfeo with Pacific MusicWorks, Musetta in La bohème with the Colorado Symphony, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Juneau Lyric Opera. Current and upcoming seasons include Maria in West Side Story with Central City Opera and Boulder Philharmonic, Lulu in the world premiere of The Princess Sophia with The Orpheus Project, and Dalila in Handel’s Samson with Pacific MusicWorks.   

Last updated: March 2018

Tess Altiveros

E

Serena Eduljee

Amore

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: A (Amore), O+E

Soprano Serena Eduljee makes her Seattle Opera debut as A with these performances of O+E. Eduljee has performed in many of Seattle Opera’s community engagement productions, including Princess Gilda in the touring production of Laitman’s The Three Feathers; the title role in Cinderella en España; and Gretel, Alitsa, and Raccoon in Our Earth. Her recent performances include singing Olympia in the Tales of Hoffmann and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute at Pacific Northwest Opera, Walter in La Wally at Puget Sound Concert Opera, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Mariposa, Vancouver, BC.

Last updated: March 2018

Serena Eduljee

Amore

Seattle Opera Debut

Kelly Kitchens

Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: O+E

Kelly Kitchens makes her Seattle Opera debut with this production of O+E. Kelly is a professional director, actor, adaptor, and teaching artist.  She is the Co-Artistic Director at Seattle Public Theater, a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective, and a member of Actor's Equity Association. Her honors include:  Gregory Falls Award for Outstanding Director (recipient, 2014; nominee, 2017); named Best Director by the Seattle Weekly Readers Poll; and named in Seattle Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top 20 Most Talented People in Seattle.” Kitchens earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University and her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Last updated: March 2018

Kelly Kitchens

Stage Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Lucy Tucker Yates

Music Director

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: O+E

Lucy Yates, singer, keyboardist, coach, and translator, makes her Seattle Opera conducting debut with O+E, and creates a new English version for this production. Leading roles include Violetta in La traviata (Busseto, Ferrara, Modena); Monica in The Medium (Spoleto); and Nedda in Pagliacci (Sarasota Opera). She can be seen on DVD as onstage fortepianist in Aureliano in Palmira (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro). Since 2004 she has taught Italian for Bel Canto at Caramoor (now Teatro Nuovo). She serves as production dramaturg for New York City Opera, Lecturer in Opera at UCLA, and panelist on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Quiz.

Last updated: March 2018

Lucy Tucker Yates

Music Director

Seattle Opera Debut

Kathryn Van Meter

Choreographer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: O+E

Kathryn Van Meter returns to Seattle Opera after choreographing last season’s The Magic Flute. Van Meter is a three-time Gregory Award Nominee for Outstanding Choreography and winner for her work on Mary Poppins. She is the resident choreographer for the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 Reasons Why. In 2016, she worked with the US Dept of Labor to develop the national definition of the job “choreographer.” This fall Van Meter will be directing and choreographing Village Theatre’s production of Matilda.

Last updated: April 2018

Kathryn Van Meter

Choreographer

Julia Hayes Welch

Set Design

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: An American DreamO+E

Julia Hayes Welch returns to Seattle Opera after her set designs for An American Dream in 2017. Welch’s recent credits include Government Inspector (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Howl’s Moving Castle (Book-It Repertory Theatre); Alex and Aris (ACT Theatre); Grounded (Seattle Public Theatre); Barbecue, Bootycandy (Intiman); The Things Are Against Us (Washington Ensemble Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher, Really Really (ArtsWest); Free Boy (5th Avenue Educational Tour); Twister Beach (Café Nordo); and The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Village Theatre). Welch designed sets and costumes for Trojan Women (Civic Rep) and costumes for Bus Stop and Instructions to Survive a Fairy Tale (UW Drama).

Last updated: March 2018

Julia Hayes Welch

Set Design

Chelsea Cook

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: An American Dream; O+E

Chelsea Cook made her Seattle Opera debut as costume designer of An American Dream in 2017. She has been on staff at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, and the Intiman Theatre Festival.  Select favorite designs include Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Second Stage Theatre); The Addams Family (Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre); She’s Come Undone (Gregory Award Nomination, Book-It); What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (Book-It Repertory); Medea (Seattle Shakespeare Co.); and Pump Boys & Dinettes (Village Theatre). Her work has also been seen at George Street Playhouse, ArtsEmerson, Café Nordo, ACT Theatre, and more.

Last updated: March 2018

 

Chelsea Cook

Costume Designer

Thorn Michaels

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2017/18: O+E

Thorn Michaels is a Seattle-based lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera. Her recent lighting designs include Robin Hood and The Tender Land (Seattle Opera); Ironbound (Seattle Public Theater); Brooklyn Bridge (Seattle Children’s Theatre);  Strictly Seattle (Velocity Dance Center, where she is resident lighting designer); and The Two-Character Play (Civic Rep, Gregory Award nominee for Outstanding Lighting Design). As the 2016/2017 Hemsley Intern, Thorn served as an assistant lighting designer for New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Festival, Alvin Ailey, and San Francisco Opera. She holds an MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Washington (2016).

Last updated: March 2018

Thorn Michaels

Lighting Designer

Cast

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Sol Im, Concertmaster
Thao Hyunh

Violin II
Rachael Pearson
Erin Kelly

Viola
Annie Center

Cello
Paige Stockley

Bass
Kim Tinuviel

Flute
Susan Telford

Oboe I
Jamie Sanidad

Oboe II
Ove Hanson

Bassoon
Marlene Weaver

Horn I
Danielle Lemieux

Horn II
Jill Jaques

Harp
Mathew Tutsky

Harpsichord
Lucy Tucker Yates (Maestro)

 

 

Chorus

Soprano
Jennifer Cross
Katrina Deininger
Mary McLaughlin
Allison Pohl

Alto
Lorraine Burdick
YeonSoo Lee
Elizabeth Peterson

Tenor
John Coons
Stephen Wall
Korland Simmons

Bass
Glenn Guhr
Kwangsuk Ku
Dierre Lopez

 

 

Dancers

William Halsey
Nia-Amina Minor
Madison Oliver
Jose Uz

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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Videos

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Audio

In June 2018 Seattle Opera presents a chamber opera version of Gluck’s masterpiece, arranged musically and adapted with a new English text by Lucy Tucker Yates. Yates’ starting point was the 1762 version of the opera Gluck composed, to Calzabigi’s Italian text, for performances in Vienna. All the music in this playlist (drawn from Seattle Opera’s 1988 and 2012 mainstage performances of the 1774 French version of the opera) will be heard, with different voices, instruments, and language, in the upcoming chamber opera performances.

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Production Sponsors

Pride Foundation