Renée Rapier and Abigail Levis, alternating Dinah; Kyle Albertson and Eugene Brancoveanu, alternating Sam
Opera Parallèle and SFJAZZ are joining forces to honor Leonard Bernstein on his 100th birthday, with a brand new production of the composer’s seminal opera Trouble in Tahiti. Jake Heggie, San Francisco’s pre-eminent composer, participates fully in this celebration with his chamber opera At the Statue of Venue. Both works explore personal relationships, and the struggles that can be experienced in one’s quest toward happiness. Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel envisions a narrative that connects both works together, where Rose, the sole character in At the Statue of Venue becomes Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, imagining what would have happened to her after getting married and living the comfortable life of a housewife in suburban America. Mezzo-sopranos Renée Rapier and Abigail Levis incarnate this central character, and share the stage with baritones Kyle Albertson and Eugene Brancoveanu. Soprano (Krista Wigle), tenor (Andres Ramirez), and baritone personify the Greek chorus, in a jazz trio whose syncopated comments, inspired by popular music, already foreshadow West Side Story. The set design by Dave Dunning will include a giant turntable featuring revolving tableaux for the varied dramatic locations. Atmospheric visuals created by Media Designer David Murakami, and period costumes by Costume Designer Christine Crook, will evoke the troubled state of these souls adrift in the heart of Suburbia, in an aesthetic reminiscent of the Mad Men era. Mixed media collage artist Sherry Parker will collaborate with OP to create an immersive experience, transforming the SFJAZZ Miner auditorium into an art gallery. Choreographer Amy Seiwert and dancer Steffi Cheong will bring to life the statue suggested in the title of Jake Heggie’s work. The orchestra of 21 musicians will be conducted by OP’s Artistic Director Nicole Paiement.