She refers to two of literature's great drownings, in Emile Zola's Th_rse Raquin and Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, both of which see a lover or spouse literally tossed overboard in favor of a more alluring alternative. Picker's operatic setting of An American Tragedy got a high-powered world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2005. Th_rse Raquin debuted at The Dallas Opera in 2001; it is currently receiving its New York premiere run (of which we offer some photos below), in a chamber version prepared by the composer, from Dicapo Opera Theatre.
The production, staged by company general director Michael Capasso, with two alternating casts and a chamber orchestra conducted by Steven Osgood, opened last Friday (February 16) in Dicapo's 204-seat theater on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Soprano Beverly O'Regan Thiele and mezzo Audrey Babcock share the title role, with baritones David Adam Moore and Zeffin Quinn Hollis alternating as Th_rse's lover Laurent, tenors Peter Furlong and Brian Stucki taking turns as unlucky husband Camille, and mezzo Janice Meyerson playing Camille's equally ill-fated mother in both casts.
Th_rse Raquin receives three more performances this coming weekend: Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 25, at 4 p.m. Dicapo Opera Theatre is located at 184 East 76th Street in Manhattan, just off Lexington Avenue and directly underneath St. Jean-Baptiste Church. For information and tickets, visit www.dicapo.com.
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All photos by James Martindale.