Angels in America Opera To Make U.S. Debut in June in Boston

News   Angels in America Opera To Make U.S. Debut in June in Boston Following a world premiere in Paris, an opera version of Tony Kushner's Angels in America will debut stateside at the Boston Center for the Arts in June.

Opera Unlimited presents the four-performance run June 16-20 at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion in the BCA in collaboration with Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Boston.

Peter Eötvös' classical music take on the epic drama debuted at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France Nov. 23-29, 2004 with Philippe Calvario directing and original Broadway Fiddler on the Roof cast member Julia Migenes in the cast. The Paris production was filmed for PBS' Great Performances. It then made its German debut in 2005.

Featuring a libretto by Mari Mezei based on Kushner's plays, Angels in America is an opera in two parts. The Théâtre du Châtelet commission is compressed into a roughly 2-1/2-hour work to be sung in English.

"In the opera version, I put less emphasis on the political line than Kushner," stated composer Eötvös in the Paris production notes. "I rather focus on the passionate relationships, on the highly dramatic suspense of the wonderful text, on the permanently uncertain state of the visions."

The Boston cast of Angels in America will feature Drew Poling (as Roy Cohn), Matthew DiBattista (Louis), Nikolas Sean-Paul Nackley (Joe), Amanda Forsythe (the Angel), Ja-Nae Duane (Hannah), Matthew Truss (Belize), Thomas Meglioranza (Prior) and Anne Harley (Harper). Steven Maler directs and Gil Rose will conduct the score.

Kushner's Angels in America interweaves the stories of a gay couple split apart by AIDS; a Mormon couple separated by their secret fantasies; and a legendary lawyer fading into history. Set against the backdrop of New York City in 1985, the "gay fantasia" includes mystical sequences filled with ghosts of ancestors and accused spy Ethel Rosenberg, a trip through a refrigerator to Antarctica and, of course, a visit from an angel.

Eötvös's previous operatic works include Three Sisters (based on the Chekhov classic) and Le Balcon (on the Jean Genet play). Other compositions include "Chinese Opera," "Psychokosmos," "Atlantis," "Shadows," "Two monologues," "Replica" and "zeroPoints." His Angels in America is also slated to play at Hamburgische Staatsoper, Probebühne in Hamburg, Germany June 23-July 2, 2005.

Tickets are on sale through (617) 933-8600. For more information on Angels in America at the Boston Center for the Arts, visit operaunlimited.org.

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