The Aspen Music Festival and School announced last month it had received a $55,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant to support the presentation of a new opera titled “The Classical Style” by faculty member Steven Stucky.
Co-commissioned with Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Hall, the opera is slated to be performed at the festival in 2015.
Aspen alumnus, pianist, and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Jeremy Denk is writing the libretto based on Charles Rosen’s landmark book of the same name on the compositions of three of the world’s greatest composers: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Each of these composers, as well as Rosen himself, appear as characters in the one-act piece, which is expected to be 50 minutes long. Lead roles are expected to be sung by Jessica Rivera, Kelly O’Connor, Thomas Glenn, Stephen Powell, and Ryan McKinney, who is an alumnus of the festival’s conducting program. Robert Spano will conduct all of the performances, scheduled in Ojai, Aspen and Carnegie Hall. In Aspen, the semi-staged production will be directed by Edward Berkeley, director of the Aspen Opera Theater Center.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States,” acting NEA chairman Joan Shigekawa says in a press release. “Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts.”
Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $ 23.4 million. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
This summer’s music festival dates are June 26 to August 17.
Theatre Aspen Auditions Announced
Audition dates for the 2014 Theatre Aspen season were announced Feb. 4.
Auditions for Aspen and Denver actors will be held Saturday, March 8 in Denver, and Sunday, March 9 in Aspen. Aspen calls will take place in the Red Brick Arts Center from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Additional auditions will be held in New York in February and March.
Theatre Aspen’s summer lineup at the Hurst Theatre will open with the musical comedy “The Full Monty,” running in repertory with the musical “Little Women,” and a brand new comedy by Sandy Rustin called “The Cottage.”
Carbonell Award winner and Theatre Aspen favorite Mark Martino will direct and choreograph “The Full Monty,” running June 24 through Aug. 16. With a book by five-time Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee Terrence McNally (“Ragtime,” “Master Class”) and music and lyrics by David Yazbek (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”), the musical comedy opened on Broadway in 2001, garnering ten Tony Award and twelve Drama Desk nominations.
The musical “Little Women,” based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, plays July 2 through Aug. 16 with a book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Theatre Aspen executive artistic director Paige Price will direct.
Opening July 24 and running through Aug. 15 is “The Cottage,” a farce inspired by the works of Noel Coward and set in the 1920s English countryside. Written by Sandy Rustin, his tale of sex, betrayal and true love unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness exposes her love affair to her husband and her lover’s wife. A surprising web of secrets unravels in this hilarious-and-almost-murderous-romantic comedy.
Rustin, whose “Rated P for Parenthood” premiered at the West Side Theatre in New York City, appeared at Theatre Aspen in “Crimes of the Heart,” and has appeared on stage and screen and can regularly be seen at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in “Gravid Water.” Her scripted series, “Overbooked” is in production with Nickelodeon’s new network, Nick Mom. Don Stephenson, currently on Broadway in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” is on board to direct. Stephenson has appeared in seven Broadway shows and is set to direct a star-studded Titanic this February at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.