Title

Juilliard Presents U.S. Premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' "Kommilitonen!" to Open the 2011-2012 Vocal Season on November 16 and 18 at 8 PM and November 20 at 2 PM in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Subhead

Co-Commissioned by Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Music in London, "Kommilitonen!" is Directed by its Librettist David Pountney and Conducted by Anne Manson

Start Date

Monday, October 10, 2011

Press Release Images

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies by John Batten
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies by John Batten
Singers and Puppets from Blind Summit Theatre by Nan Melville
Singers and Puppets from Blind Summit Theatre by Nan Melville

Body

Juilliard opens its 2011-2012 Juilliard Opera season with the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ new full-length opera, Kommilitonen! (translated from German as ‘fellow students’) on Wednesday, November 16 and Friday, November 18 at 8 PM, and Sunday, November 20 at 2 PM in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The libretto is by David Pountney, who also directs. Anne Manson conducts the Juilliard Orchestra and Juilliard Opera singers. The Juilliard School and the Royal Academy of Music co-commissioned the new opera, a cross-generational, multi-national work with unique staging utilizing life-sized puppets among other techniques.  Sets and costumes are by Robert Innes Hopkins, and puppetry is by Blind Summit Theatre – Mark Down and Nick Barnes. Lighting design is by James Farncombe. Carolyn Choa is choreographer. Kommilitonen! had its world premiere in London at the Royal Academy of Music on March 18, 2011. To view a preview, go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/JuilliardSchool.

Tickets to Juilliard Opera productions at $30 go on sale on October 12 and are available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, as well as through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets are available with a valid ID at the Juilliard Box Office; TDF vouchers are accepted. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or visit Juilliard’s Web site at www.juilliard.edu.

Kommilitonen! interweaves three stories of the mid-Century – crossing cultures – to focus on three groups of students who are involved in political action: In wartime Germany, Die Weisse Rose, a group of students at the University of Munich produced leaflets protesting against the National Socialist government in 1942/3; in the People’s Republic of China of the mid-to-late 1960s, two characters become involved on opposite sides of the Cultural Revolution; in the American South of the early 1960s, James Meredith wages a lonely and dignified battle against segregation and racial prejudice to become the first black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi, ‘Ole Miss’, in 1962.

The cast includes: Will Liverman as James Meredith; Tobias Greenhalgh as the Voice of Pokayne; Deanna Breiwick as Sophie; Leo Radosavljevic as Willi; Laetitia De Beck Spitzer as Clerk 1; Takaoki Onishi as Clerk 2; Alexander Hajek as Hans; Noah Baetge as Christoph/Evangelist; Aubrey Allicock as Alexander/Grand Inquisitor; Tobias Greenhalgh as Gestapo Officer; John Brancy as Janitor; Nathalie Mittelbach as Prison Guard; Lacey Jo Benter as Voice of the Mother; Wallis Giunta as Wu; Heather Engebretson as Li; Jeongcheol Cha as Wu Tianshi (Father); Karen Vuong as Zhou; Nathalie Mittelbach as Doctor; Simone Easthope as Officer (puppet); Laura Mixter as Officer (puppet); and Rachael Wilson as Officer (puppet).

Composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies universally is acknowledged as a foremost composer of our time, and was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 2004. He lives in the Orkney Islands off the most rugged north coast of Scotland, where he writes most of his music. His major works includes operas and music-theater works, orchestral works, including eight symphonies, fourteen concerti, several light orchestral works, and five large-scale works for chorus. Chamber music includes the landmark cycle of ten string quartets commissioned by Naxos Records. He is internationally active as a conductor, having held the position of composer/conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic, and is the composer laureate of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is a University of London professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, where he works regularly with student composers and performers.

Director and librettist David Pountney was recently appointed the new chief executive and artistic director of the Welsh National Opera (Cardiff). He was director of productions at the English National Opera from 1982-1992, where he directed more than twenty operas. He also has a long-standing association with Opera North. As a freelance director, he has worked regularly in Zurich, at the Vienna State Opera, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, as well as in the United States and Japan. Mr. Pountney has directed more than ten world premieres, including two previous operas by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for which he also wrote the librettos. He has translated many operas into English from Russian, Czech, German, and Italian. His productions have twice won an Olivier award.

Conductor Anne Manson is presently the music director of Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, with whom she has led two successful tours with soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. She made her debut with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall last season, and she works regularly with the Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain. In addition to Kommilitonen! at Juilliard, upcoming projects include two orchestral recordings with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra – one of the music of Philip Glass, the other with soloist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Ms. Manson’s previous appearances at Juilliard have been critically praised. She led the Juilliard Orchestra in FOCUS! festival concerts in 2004 and 2006, a Juilliard Orchestra concert in October 2007, and Juilliard Opera productions of Orpheus in the Underworld in November 2006, Ned Rorem’s Our Town in April 2008, and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites in April 2010.

Set and costume designer Robert Innes Hopkins’ many opera designs include Rossini’s Italiana in Algeri and Britten’s Peter Grimes at the Santa Fe Opera, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Smetana’s Bartered Bride at Opera North, Janáĉek’s Cunning Little Vixen at San Francisco Opera and Bregenz Festspiele, and Stephen Sondheim’s Passion at Minnesota Opera. Mr. Hopkins has designed several dance productions for British choreographer Yolande Snaith, and numerous theater productions. His awards include the 1996 Critics’ Circle Designer of the Year Award for The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company) at Stratford upon-Avon and then in London.

Singers and Puppets from Blind Summit Theatre by Nan Melville

Puppetry for the opera is provided by Blind Summit Theatre – Mark Down and Nick Barnes. The company designed life-size hands, feet and glasses for a giant mother character, two life-size mother and father puppets, and a trio of marionette Red Guards. The singers operate the puppets created by Mark Down, Nick Barnes, Greta Schuckert, and Billie Achileos. Blind Summit Theatre may already be known to opera-goers as creator of Cio-Cio San’s little boy in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly.

2011-2012 JUILLIARD VOCAL ARTS AND OPERA - CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

JUILLIARD OPERA

KOMMILITONEN! By Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

David Pountney, Librettist and Director

Anne Manson, Conductor

Robert Innes Hopkins, Set and Costume Designer

James Farncombe, Lighting Designer

Carolyn Choa, Choreographer

Blind Summit Theatre – Mark Down and Nick Barnes

Juilliard Orchestra

Wednesday, November 16 and Friday, November 18, 8 PM

Sunday, November 20, 2 PM, Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Tickets to Juilliard Opera productions at $30 go on sale on October 12 and are available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, as well as through CenterCharge at

(212) 721-6500. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets are available with a valid ID at the Juilliard Box Office; TDF vouchers are accepted. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or visit Juilliard’s Web site at www.juilliard.edu. 

ROSSINI – Double-Bill of Two One-Act Operas

La cambiale di matrimonio

La scala di seta

David Paul, Director

Vlad Iftinca, Conductor

Friday, February 3 (8 PM), Sunday, February 5 (2 PM), Tuesday, February 7 (8 PM), and Thursday, February 9 (8 PM), Willson Theater

GLUCK’S ARMIDE

Fabrizio Melano, Director

Jane Glover, Conductor

Kate Ashton, Lighting Designer

David Moody, Chorus Master

Juilliard Orchestra

Wednesday, February 8 and Saturday, February 11 at 8 PM, Peter Jay Sharp Theat

MOZART’S DON GIOVANNI

Stephen Wadsworth, Director

Gary Thor Wedow, Conductor

Charles Corcoran, Set Designer

Camille Assaf, Costume Designer

David Lander, Lighting Designer

Juilliard Orchestra

Wednesday, April 25 and Friday, April 27, 8 PM

Sunday, April 29 at 2 PM, Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Juilliard Opera is supported by the vision and generous lead funding of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture and its Chairman, Dr. Haruhisa Handa.

RECITALS AND CONCERTS

ALICE TULLY VOCAL ARTS DEBUT RECITAL

Michèle Losier, mezzo-soprano, and Brian Zeger, piano

Thursday, December 1, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

Tickets for the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital at $30 will be available beginning October 27 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard, as well as through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500. Half-price student and senior citizen tickets are available with a valid ID at the Juilliard Box Office. TDF vouchers are accepted. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or visit Juilliard’s Web site at www.juilliard.edu.

WEDNESDAYS AT ONE

Wednesday, December 7, 1 PM, Alice Tully Hall and Wednesday, April 4, 1 PM, Alice Tully Hall

FREE; no tickets are required.

NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG

Wednesday, January 18, 8 PM, Peter Jay Sharp Theater

FREE tickets will be available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard.

VOCAL ARTS HONORS RECITAL (Singers to be announced)

Thursday, March 22, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

FREE tickets will be available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard.

JUILLIARD SONGBOOK

Monday, February 20, 8 PM, Morse Hall and Thursday, April 19, 8 PM, Paul Hall

FREE; no tickets are required.

JUILLIARD LIEDERABEND

Throughout the season on Thursdays at 6 PM in Paul Hall on October 6, December 8, December 15, February 23, March 29, and April 26.

FREE; no tickets are required.