ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Tina Packer Playhouse
August 5 / 7:30pm
PEARL: The Opera / Concert Performance with Piano
composer Amy Scurria / librettists Carol Gilligan and
Jonathan Gilligan / music director and producer Sara Jobin
A special benefit performance joins the roster of innovative offerings with the return of Pearl, the opera, now in an all-new version. After a packed-house workshop performance last summer, Pearl comes back to S&Co. with new music and a new ending. Join us for a special one-night engagement with Maureen O’Flynn (The Taster 2010) and John Cheek—both regulars on the Metropolitan Opera stage—followed by a post show reception with the artists. In the opera, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s timeless novel The Scarlet Letter is told from the viewpoint of Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne, now a mother as well as a writer.
The libretto was written by feminist psychologist and author Carol Gilligan (together with her son Jonathan Gilligan) who also penned a stage adaptation of The Scarlet Letter, produced by Shakespeare & Company in 2002. Carol Gilligan, a Berkshire resident, was named in 1996 by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans. Also returning to the Pearl ensemble are John Bellemer as Dimmesdale, Marnie Breckenridge as Adult Pearl, and Olivia Marchione as Child Pearl.They will be joined by Michael Corvino in an expanded role for Chillingworth, and the creative team who will talk about the revisions of the score and libretto.
The project of Pearl was initiated by Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin, a Berkshire County resident, who was the first woman to conduct the San Francisco Opera. The composer, Amy Scurria, has had pieces commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, among others. Join the growing audience for a performance the Boston Musical Intelligencer called a “Bold Opera Experiment.” In March, Pearl was performed to a standing-room only crowd in Shanghai as part of a Chinese-American cultural exchange.
“We were thrilled by the enthusiastic reception in China, proving that the themes in this piece are truly universal, and that the power and beauty of Amy’s music cross borders,” says Jobin. “Truthfully, none of us knows of any other opera being created in this way, so collaboratively. It appeals to all kinds of people, including those who think they don’t like opera or have never attended one.”
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our season than by having Carol and her team of artists amongst us and bringing back a truly wonderful production,” says Simotes. “We are always happy to collaborate with local artists and it is such a pleasure to welcome such extraordinary talents to performance season and the newest version of a powerful and wonderful new opera.”
Tickets are $150/$75/$50, and all proceeds from this event will benefit S&Co.’s Actor Training Scholarship Program.