Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works Program Hosts Workshop for THE HOURS

CO_The HoursBy Kevin Puts and Greg Pierce, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra

A free, public livestream of performance excerpts can be viewed Monday, March 15, at cincinnatiopera.org

Cincinnati, Ohio—Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) are pleased to announce the next workshop in their groundbreaking joint program, Opera Fusion: New Works.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cincinnati partners are hosting the first workshop for the new opera The Hours, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts (Cincinnati Opera’s Silent Night, 2014) and librettist Greg Pierce (Cincinnati Opera’s Fellow Travelers, 2016). During this workshop, Puts and Pierce collaborate in real time with artists to shape and refine this work-in-progress, which is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Met will premiere the work in its 2022-23 season.

The Opera Fusion: New Works workshop for The Hours will culminate in a free, public livestream of performance excerpts on Monday, March 15, 2021, from 5–6 p.m., at cincinnatiopera.org. The livestream also will feature a conversation about the creation of the work with Puts, Pierce, and Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works.

Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About The Hours
The Hours is a new opera based on the book by Michael Cunningham and the Paramount Pictures film. It tells the story of three women whose lives have a literary connection: Clarissa is a New York City book editor in the early 2000s, whose best friend, Richard, a celebrated poet dying of AIDS, nicknames her Mrs. Dalloway, after the heroine of the Virginia Woolf novel. Woolf also appears as a central character—in suburban London in 1923—as she struggles to write Mrs. Dalloway while battling suicidal thoughts. A third character, Laura, is a housewife in 1949 Los Angeles wrestling with depression and seeking escape by reading Mrs. Dalloway. Their three stories are elegantly interwoven, as parallels and echoes in their lives shed light on the eternal search for meaning, fulfillment, and connection, particularly for women constrained by societal roles and their own complicated desires and expectations. 

About Opera Fusion: New Works
Opera Fusion: New Works is a partnership between Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) dedicated to fostering the development of new American operas. This collaboration is jointly led by Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, professor of opera at CCM. Opera Fusion: New Works offers composers and composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a residency in Cincinnati. Residencies use the facilities, personnel, and talent of both Cincinnati Opera and CCM. The workshops are cast with a combination of CCM students and professional artists, and each workshop concludes with a free, public presentation of excerpts followed by a Q&A session, all of which is streamed online. Since its founding in 2011, Opera Fusion: New Works has developed 18 new American operas, including Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s Fellow Travelers, Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Great Scott, Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Rufus Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor’s Hadrian, and Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. For more information, visit ofnw.org.

About Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences. Founded in 1920 and the second-oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every summer and engaging programs throughout the year. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative artists.

Cincinnati Opera receives support from ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Patricia A. Corbett Estate and Trust, and the Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, along with many other generous individuals, corporations, and foundations. Cincinnati Opera is a proud member of OPERA America. To learn more, visit cincinnatiopera.org.

About CCM Opera/Voice
Declared a top college vocal program by Backstage Magazine and described as ”one of the continent’s major music schools” by the Toronto Star, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Departments of Opera and Voice provide one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches, and directors in the United States. CCM offers an international faculty of dedicated educators who are also celebrated professionals in their own right, widely and currently active in their respective fields.

CCM sends its students out into the profession. Several national opera companies now hold auditions at the conservatory, and the Opera Department also hosts a series of informational talks by nationally renowned professionals working both in America and in Europe. CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and CCM graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy), and more. To learn more, visit ccm.uc.edu/opera.

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