Audra McDonald Premieres LaChiusa's Send at Houston Grand Opera

Classic Arts News   Audra McDonald Premieres LaChiusa's Send at Houston Grand Opera
Audra McDonald will give the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's one-woman opera Send (who are you? I love you) at Houston Grand Opera starting tonight.

McDonald will also perform Francis Poulenc's La Voix humaine in a double bill running through March 26.

Send tells the story of a woman looking for romance over the Internet. It begins with the woman "meeting" a man through an Internet dating service and proposing that he call her. While she waits for him to call, she imagines their entire lives together, from dating through marriage and death. As the opera ends, the phone rings and their relationship begins.

Broadway veteran Lonny Price is the director; sets and costumes are by James Noone and Melissa Graff, respectively. Ted Sperling, the musical director of the Tony-winning A Light in the Piazza and other shows, is the conductor.

The new opera is 21st-century sequel of sorts to La Voix humaine, in which a woman ends a relationship over the telephone.

LaChiusa is the composer of the Broadway musicals The Wild Party, Marie Christine, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. He served as the Lyric Opera of Chicago's composer in residence in 1998-99, and the company later premiered his Lovers & Friends: Chatauqua Variations.

McDonald is a Broadway star with four Tony Awards to her name, as well as a frequent soloist with leading orchestras. These performances mark her opera debut. She is scheduled to appear in Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera next season.

The debut of Send (who are you? I love you) will mark the 35th world premiere at Houston Grand Opera.

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