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Two Noh Plays/ Operas on the life and afterlife of Benjamin Franklin.
The Spell of Tradition is an eminently accessible evening of modern opera and Noh drama, inspired by one of American history’s most fascinating personalities. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy classical entertainment at a very affordable price.
WHAT: The Spell of Tradition. Two Noh Play/Operas on the life and afterlife of Benjamin Franklin. World Premiere engagement. Performed in English.
WHO: Written, composed, choreographed and directed by Peter Wing Healey. Musical director: Galina Barskaya.
ESTIMATED RUNNING TIME: Two hours ten minutes plus intermission.
CONSUMER ADVISORY: Suitable for age nine to Adult.
The Spell of Tradition is a hybrid/fusion of Noh Play (a 700-year-old form of Japanese dance-based theatre) and contemporary opera, telling two compact stories about the life and afterlife of Benjamin Franklin.
In Part One, Tuesday, set in 1936, a soprano and orchestral conductor from the Metropolitan Opera en route to a concert date in Philadelphia survive a train derailment in Trenton, New Jersey. that kills other members of their company. Aided by a shaman of the Lenape tribe (the original Native Americans of New Jersey and Philadelphia), the ghost of Benjamin Franklin is conjured in aiding the singer and conductor as they strive to make their Philadelphia curtain on time.
In Part Two, The Salem Quilt begins in 1723, when Benjamin Franklin, a runaway apprentice, seeks food, rest and refuge from Mrs. Clapp, an innkeeper. She lets him sleep under a quilt with supernatural properties: It reveals to him a glorious future. Mrs. Clapp is conflicted: Shall she keep Franklin in her bed, or allow him to go off and pursue his magnificent destiny?
Galina Barskaya is musical director and conducts an ensemble that includes piano, cello, clarinet and percussion. The recipient of a Master’s degree from Kiev State Conservatory, she has served as Music Director of L.A. Metropolitan Opera (2009 to 2012), Independent Opera Company, Mesopotamian Opera Company, Kehillat Israel, Lutheran Church of the Master and Emerson UU Church. She is a piano/organ soloist and Chamber musician, and also a composer.
Peter Wing Healey is the director, writer, composer and choreographer. He founded the Mesopotamian Opera Company in 1985. Trained at Haverford College and the Boston Conservatory of Music, his previous operas include The Blur, or how to Marry a Billionaire The Tree Sunset Salome The Norma and Jane Heir. His plays include Thyestes’ Feast To Ur and Al and Kester. His dance works include The Mummy and The Death of Isadora. A classical pianist, singer and dancer, he served as rehearsal director on The White Oak Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and balletmaster on John Adams/Peter Sellars’ Nixon in China from its inception through five stagings.
Costume design: Karolyn Kiisel. Set design and properties: Claire Fraiser.
Wing Healey’s cast includes: Karen Hogel Brown, soprano Jessica Mamey, mezzo-soprano Matthew Acuff, bass-baritone Matthew Ian Welch, baritone Erica Lazerow Davis, soprano Diana Briscoe, soprano Andrew Bennett, tenor Bruce Anderson, tenor Dean Hepker, actor Liza Barskaya, dancer.
For more information about The Mesopotamian Opera Company, Inc., find it on Facebook.
Presenter / Producer: Mesopotamian Opera Co.
Theater > Other
Event Phone: 800-838-3006
Highland Ebell Club
131 S. Avenue 57
Los Angeles CA 90042
LA - Central / Downtown
Performance Dates: 6/1/2017 - 6/3/2017
$20 in advance, $25 at the door.
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