Based on the novel by Mark McShane and the subsequent screenplay by Bryan Forbes, Séance features a score and libretto by Academy Award-winning and Tony nominated composer Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell).
The cast for the 9:50 PM reading includes Lauren Flanigan (Myra Savage), Jane Shaulis (Mrs. Wintry), Jennifer Zetlan (Miss Rose), Theodore Cheltsos (Mr. Bennett), Andrew Oakden (Mr. Cole), Michael Zegarski (Bill Savage), Michael Marcotte (Irish Tenor) and Jonathan Makepeace (Arthur).
The opera, which is aiming for a world premiere bow at Opera Santa Barbara in fall 2009, centers on a psychic and her husband who kidnap a young girl in order to ultimately "find" her and gain notoriety using psychic powers.
The reading will be backed by the City Opera orchestra. George Manahan will serve as music director, with members of the New York City Opera chorus also partaking.
Additional readings on May 1 include Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads and Chandler Carter's No Easy Walk to Freedom (7-8:10 PM); Yoav Gal's Mosheh, as well as Gordon Beeferman and Charlotte Jackson's The Rat Land (8:30-9:30 PM). Programming for May 2 includes Christopher Cerrone's Invisible Cities, as well as Jonathan Dawe and Heather Raffo's Armide (2-3:10 PM); Car Crash Opera, penned by Michaela Eremiásová, Jairo Duarte-López and Skip Battaglia, and Anne LeBaron and Douglas Kearney's Crescent City (3:30-4:30 PM).
The final work, which marks VOX's 100th presentation, will be David Bruce and Alasdair Middleton's A Bird in Your Ear (4:50-5:30 PM).
Tickets to the VOX: Showcasing American Opera series are free. Reservations can be made by visiting vox-nyco.com.
The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South.