The opera, Goldenthal's first, was co-commisioned by Los Angeles Opera and the festival, and will receive its world premiere in L.A. on May 27, 2006. The festival will present four performances at the New York State Theater on July 11, 13, 15, and 16, 2006.
Based on the novel by John Gardner, Grendel retells the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster. The libretto is by Taymor and poet J. D. McClatchy; Taymor, the Tony-winning director of The Lion King, will also serve as director. The set designer is George Tsypin, who collaborated with Taymor on her recent Metropolitan Opera production of The Magic Flute. Costumes are by Constance Hoffman; lighting is by Donald Holder.
Goldenthal, Taymor's partner and frequent collaborator, is a composer of film, theatrical, and ballet scores as well as symphonic works.
The cast includes bass Eric Owens as Grendel, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as the Dragon, soprano Laura Claycomb as the Queen, tenor Jay Hunter Morris as the warrior Unferth, and tenor Richard Craft as the Blind Harpist, all reprising their roles from the Los Angeles performances. Steven Sloane will conduct.
The Lincoln Center Festival was created in 1996 to present music, theater, and dance from around the world. This year's festival runs July 12-31.