See my preview of a free reading of a new opera libretto-in-progress, this evening at Georgetown:
Reading of New Libretto by Heather Raffo Tonight at Georgetown (The Washingtonian, August 29):
New York-based playwright and actress Heather Raffo came to international attention a few years ago with her award-winning one-woman play Nine Parts of Desire. For her latest project, Raffo is writing a libretto for a new opera to be premiered at City Opera Vancouver next year. As part of Raffo’s ongoing residency at Georgetown’s Department of Performing Arts, a group of Georgetown students, faculty, and guest artists will join Raffo in a public reading of the current form of the new libretto. This reading will not include the opera’s music, which is still being completed by Vancouver-based composer Tobin Stokes.
Over the weekend, Raffo told The Washingtonian about how she came to be writing her first opera libretto. “It was a stroke of luck,” she says. “ Nine Parts was being performed in Vancouver, and the president of the board at City Opera Vancouver saw the show. She thought I might be a right fit for this libretto, and they had been looking for a writer. So my name got thrown into the mix. Around the time that my son was being born last November, I got a call that I got the job.” She did not meet the composer until the first workshop for the opera in Vancouver. As reported earlier this year, the Annenberg Foundation awarded a $250,000 commissioning grant to City Opera Vancouver, to bring the chamber opera to the stage. [Continue reading]