Monday, November 28, 2016

It's a Wonderful Life Comes to San Francisco

Back in October, 2014, when David Gockley announced his retirement, the press release included the following:
In the near future, San Francisco Opera will see three additional new operas planned by Gockley including Marco Tutino and Fabio Ceresa’s La Ciociara (Two Women) in June 2015, Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber for Fall 2016, and a soon-to-be-announced commission from Jake Heggie for Fall 2017.
But, in fact, the new opera for fall, 2017, is John [Coolidge] Adams' new opera, Girls of the Golden West.

Today came the press release for the Heggie opera, It's a Wonderful Life. It will be performed in the fall of 2018. It should not be a surprise that we got the information now, as the opera is about to open at Houston Grand Opera, one of the other co-commissioners. (The third commissioning organization is the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.) The opera is based on the famous Frank Capra film and on Philip Van Doren Stern's short story "The Greatest Gift."

Patrick Summers will conduct, with the cast to be announced at a later date. The production team is the same as for Moby-Dick, a previous Heggie opera, which has been quite a success:  director 
Leonard Foglia, set designer Robert Brill, costume designer David C. Woolard, lighting designer Brian Nason and projection/video designer Elaine J. McCarthy. The Houston cast is excellent and personally I hope that it comes here unchanged.