Chicago Opera Theater to Present Stage Premiere of John Adams's Flowering Tree

Classic Arts News   Chicago Opera Theater to Present Stage Premiere of John Adams's Flowering Tree
The Chicago Opera Theater's 2008 spring season features a major coup for the company: the first fully staged production in the U.S. of John Adams's A Flowering Tree. The opera premiered last November in Vienna as part of the New Crowned Hope festival curated by Peter Sellars.

Adams will conduct the first two of five performances in May 2008, and Joana Carneiro, assistant conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct the last three. The production will be a new staging by Nicola Raab (rather than the original Peter Sellars staging seen in Vienna and London), and the cast currently includes soprano Natasha Jouhl as Kumudha (the young girl who is transformed into a flowering tree) and baritone Sanford Sylvan as the Storyteller.

Adams wanted COT to offer the U.S. premiere of the work because he was impressed with the company's recent production of his opera Nixon in China. He said in a statement, "I was impressed with the high standards of music-making as well as the extraordinary community that [the COT's] superlative staff created around those performances. They created a cultural event that drew audiences from all corners of the city's rich and varied community."

Chicago Opera Theater's 2008 spring season opens on April 30 with Mozart's Don Giovanni, with conductor Jane Glover and director Diane Paulus in their seventh collaboration at the company. The Ukrainian baritone Viktor Rud sings the title role; the cast also includes Matthew Boehler as Leporello, Michael Colvin as Don Ottavio, Rhoslyn Jones as Donna Anna, Isabel Leonard as Zerlina, Krisztina Szab‹ as Donna Elvira and Benjamin Wager as Masetto.

The final production of the season is Handel's Orlando, which the company says hasn't received a full, professional staging in Chicago in over twenty years. Raymond Leppard conducts and Justin Way directs. The cast includes Tim Mead in the title role, Andriana Chuchman as Dorinda, Rachelle Durkin as Angelica and David Trudgen as Medoro.

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