William Bolcom and Robert Altman's A Wedding Premieres at Chicago Lyric

Classic Arts News   William Bolcom and Robert Altman's A Wedding Premieres at Chicago Lyric
 
William Bolcom's comic opera A Wedding gets its much-anticipated world premiere at the Lyric Opera of Chicago tonight. The opera is based on Robert Altman's 1978 film and is directed and co-written by the famed film director.

The creative team also includes librettist Arnold Weinstein, a longtime Bolcom collaborator, and dramaturge David Levin. Denis Russell Davies conducts.

A Wedding is a satire about a wedding between a young man from a high society clan in suburban Lake Forst, Illinois, and a woman from a nouveau-riche family in Louisville, Kentucky. The film's all-star cast included Desi Arnaz Jr., Carol Burnett, Geraldine Chaplin, Mia Farrow, and Lillian Gish; the operatic adaptation will star Lauren Flanigan, Mark Delevan, Anna Christy, Cynthia Lawrence, Catherine Malfitano, and Jerry Hadley.

The Lyric Opera premiered both of Bolcom's previous operas, the 1999 A View From the Bridge, based on the Arthur Miller play, and the 1992 McTeague, which also had a libretto by Altman and Weinstein. Also among the composer's many works is the Pulitzer Prize-winnning 12 New Etudes for Piano (1988).

"Bolcom writes music that is sophisticated and pleases the public, with a strong sense of drama," William Mason, general director of the Lyric Opera, said in a statement. "He is also a brilliant orchestrator. No one in America today is more talented at combining the musical and theatrical demands so necessary in creating the opera of today."

Altman's films include M*A*S*H, Nashville, Shortcuts, and Gosford Park.

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