Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For The Washington National Opera And/Or John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Opera House To-Do List

"Frank Waters wrote the first draft of The Woman at Otowi Crossing in 1956. After submitting his fourth draft in 1965, it was published by Alan Swallow in October of 1966.

The Opera Theatre of St. Louis commissioned Stephen Paulus in 1991 to write an opera based on novel The Woman at Otowi Crossing. The world premier on June 15, 1995, coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the Theatre and coincidentally with the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima.

Paulus was drawn to the book because the story was “ a love story with strong characters and good dramatic situations. While reading the book, I began to hear musical ideas, began to get to know the characters and put a musical stamp on them.” The libretto was written by Joan Vail Thorne and the staging and casting was under the direction of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Director Colin Graham.

The production included thirty-two voices in the chorus and a forty piece contingent of the Saint Louis Symphony. ... NPR broadcast the opera in September 1995. ...

Craig Smith in the New Mexican, reported, “The Woman at Otowi Crossing proved to be an interpretation of a rich human personality,” … “heart-wrenchingly beautiful music.” … “seems to be a good candidate for a place in the contemporary repertoire.”

Source: William Farr for the Frank Waters Foundation, Taos, New Mexico.

Image credit: Plaza at Wàlpi on First Mesa from Wikipedia Commons.


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