Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Roscoe" Opera at Skidmore this Sunday

From today's Times Union:
Opera troupe workshops adaptation of William Kennedy's 'Roscoe'

Amy Biancoll, Times Union
The souls peopling William Kennedy novels have always had an operatic streak about them: tragically flawed, larger than life, haunted by death (or dead already). And they have issues If, as W.H. Auden observed, opera is "an imitation of human willfulness," then the classic Kennedy protagonist is prime meat for operatic adaptation.

Consider Roscoe Conway, the complex and fleshy political insider at the heart of "Roscoe," a new opera scheduled for an Opera Saratoga workshop performance at 2 p.m. Sunday at Skidmore College. Adapted from the Kennedy novel by Albany composer Evan Mack and Tennessee-based librettist Joshua McGuire, the opera is about half-written: Only the 80-minute Act I will be performed in Sunday's unstaged concert rendering, sung by members of the company's Young Artist Program. "It's quite wonderful. It's thrilling to listen to it, and to hear these voices when they start taking off," Kennedy said. Opera struck him as a "very good form for Roscoe himself. As an individual, he has kind of an operatic life, and he is a creature of extreme habits and proclivities. And he reaches great heights as a politician and as a human being, and he has a great rise and fall of his emotions."

More in the Times Union: