The venerable San Francisco Opera has announced the commission of Tobias Picker’s next opera, Dolores Claiborne, with a libretto by J.D. McClatchy. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by award-winning author Stephen King and presented by arrangement with British theatrical producer Andrew Welch, Dolores Claiborne will debut at the San Francisco Opera on September 15, 2013, starring mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick in the title role. In his company debut, George Manahan conducts the world premiere run and James Robinson, whose previous engagements at the War Memorial Opera House include the 2009 season productions of Il Trittico and Salome, will direct. The new production also features the work of scenic designer Allen Moyer, costume designer James Schutte, lighting designer Chris Ackerlind and projection designer Greg Emetaz. San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley comments:
The idea of Dolores Claiborne as an operatic work has been in my mind for quite a while. The sticking point was obtaining the rights from author Stephen King, and once that was accomplished the opera was put on the fast track for development. I’ve always admired the music of Tobias Picker—his musical language that works so well with today’s audiences by offering a spectrum of expressive qualities, his beautiful lyricism, his dramatic abilities and his brilliant orchestrations. And I’ve always thought of the character of Dolores Claiborne and celebrated mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick as a perfect match.
Tobias Picker adds:
Dolores Claiborne is a character destined for the operatic stage—passionate, desperate, trapped. She will do anything to save the daughter who despises her. Pushed to the extreme edge of life, she does what she has to, fearless and forsaken. I have wanted to write this opera for years. Yes, Stephen King is a master of suspense, but he is also a remarkable reader of human desires and fears. The superb team that San Francisco Opera has assembled allows me to compose a powerful, heart-stopping piece of music theater for a cast of brilliant voices.
Visit www.sfopera.com for more information on San Francisco Opera and Dolores Claiborne.
For more on the life and music of Tobias Picker, go to www.tobiaspicker.com and www.schott-music.com.