Schwartz's S_ance on a Wet Afternoon Premieres in Santa Barbara Sept. 26

Classic Arts Features   Schwartz's S_ance on a Wet Afternoon Premieres in Santa Barbara Sept. 26
The world premiere of the new Stephen Schwartz opera S_ance on a Wet Afternoon, starring soprano Lauren Flanigan, begins performances at Opera Santa Barbara Sept. 26.


Academy Award-winning and Tony nominated composer Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell) based the opera on the novel by Mark McShane and the subsequent screenplay by Bryan Forbes. Schwartz penned both the libretto and score for the opera, which was commissioned by Opera Santa Barbara.

The composer's son, director Scott Schwartz (Golda's Balcony, Jane Eyre, Rooms) stages the world premiere of S_ance that will also be presented on Oct. 2 and 4 at the Grenada Theatre.

Flanigan, who has performed the role of medium Myra Foster since the early workshops of S_ance, leads a cast that includes Kim Josephson (Bill), Hila Plitman (Mrs. Clayton), John Kimberling (Mr. Clayton) and Craig Hart (Inspector Watts).

S_ance on a Wet Afternoon has designs by Tony winner Heidi Ettinger (scenic design), Tony nominee David Lander (lighting design) and Alejo Vietti (costume designer). Valery Ryvkin will conduct with choreography my Matt Williams.

Opera Santa Barbara describes S_ance on a Wet Afternoon as "a psychological thriller about a medium, Myra Foster, her doting husband Bill, and the spirit of their deceased eleven-year-old son, Arthur, who speaks to Myra and is her contact for her s_ances. Because Myra has never received the recognition she feels her gifts merit, they hatch a Plan: They will kidnap the daughter of a local wealthy industrialist, and keep her safe while the media frenzy over her abduction builds. When Myra has a 'vision' that leads to the successful recovery of the girl and the ransom, her fame will be assured. As The Plan is put into action, the girl's presence in the house leads to complex psychological responses from Myra, Bill, and Arthur. The delicate balance of Myra and Bill's relationship and Myra's sanity itself begins to fray, as long-buried secrets are revealed. The Plan goes badly awry, and in Myra's final s_ance, the drama comes to a devastating conclusion."

Stephen Schwartz, a five-time Tony nominee for the scores of Pippin, Godspell, Working, Wicked and his lyrics for Rags, has earned Academy Awards for "Pocahontas" and "The Prince of Egypt." He also earned three Academy Award nominations for his work on "Enchanted." Schwartz also received Grammy Awards for the recordings of Wicked, Godspell and "Pocahontas."

For tickets visit OperaSB, or by phoning (805) 899-2222.

For further information, visit SeancetheOpera.

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