Angels in America Opera to Get North American Premiere in Boston

Classic Arts News   Angels in America Opera to Get North American Premiere in Boston
Peter E‹tv‹s's Angels in America, an opera based on Tony Kushner's landmark play, will be seen in North America for the first time next month.

The staging, which runs June 16-25 at the Boston Center for the Arts, is a production of Opera Unlimited, a collaboration between Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Boston.

Steven Maler, the artistic director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, is the director; Gil Rose, artistic director of Boston Modern Orchestra Project and music director of Opera Boston, will conduct.

The cast includes Thomas Meglioranza as Prior, soprano Anne Harley as Harper, baritone Drew Poling as Roy Cohn, tenor Matthew DiBattista as Louis, baritone Nikolas Sean-Paul Nackley as Joe, soprano Amanda Forsythe as the Angel, Ja-Nae Duane as Hannah, and Matthew Truss as Belize.

E‹tv‹s's opera was commissioned by Paris's Th_‹tre du Ch‹telet, which premiered it in November 2004. That production will be seen on PBS later this year.

Kushner's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a seven-hour, two-part epic, is set in the early years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Characters include an HIV-positive man and his lover, a closeted Mormon, and the aging lawyer Roy Cohn. E‹tv‹s's version, which has an English-language libretto by Mari Mezei, is compressed to two and a half hours.

"Angels in America captures the struggles of the time with intimate detail and epic scope," Maler said. "The play naturally lends itself to opera. Fueled by passion and rage, the writing captures the struggle for dignity and companionship in a world gone terribly wrong."

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