The much anticipated opera from Tobias Picker, Dolores Claiborne, took one major step closer to becoming a fully realized work with a first full reading of the new opera with piano at the San Francisco Opera on December 4 and 5. Commissioned by San Francisco Opera with a libretto by J.D. McClatchy, Dolores Claiborne is based on the Stephen King novel and will see its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera on September 15, 2013, in association with British theatrical producer Andrew Welch. Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick creates the title role of Dolores Claiborne and is joined in the cast by sopranos Susannah Biller and Elizabeth Futral, tenors Greg Fedderly and Joel Sorensen, and bass-baritone Wayne Tigges. in his company debut, George Manahan conducts the premiere run and James Robinson, whose previous engagements at the War Memorial Opera House include the 2009 season productions of Il Trittico and Salome, directs. The new production features the work of scenic designer Allen Moyer, costume designer James Schutte, lighting designer Chris Ackerlind and projection designer Greg Emetaz. Picker writes:
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.