The 2019 release of Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and an all-star cast of singers, led by Gil Rose, won the 2020 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording! Learn more and see the full list of GRAMMY Award winners here. To purchase the recording from BMOP sound directly, click here.
Picker’s sixth opera, Awakenings, set to a libretto by Aryeh Lev Stollman and based on Dr. Oliver Sacks's book of the same name, is premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (OTSL) in June 2020, with James Robinson directing and Roberto Kalb conducting.
"Imagine watching the world pass you by…but being unable to do anything about it. Such was the fate of thousands who succumbed to a mysterious sleeping sickness, rendering them immobile and voiceless for more than forty years. As time went on, daughters grew up without their mothers, husbands remarried, and mothers wasted away from grief. Decades later, a brilliant young doctor discovered a revolutionary treatment to bring his patients back to life in a world they no longer recognized. Based on the true story of Dr. Oliver Sacks, Awakenings is a moving story of memories, loss, and life rediscovered."
Tickets on sale now. Click here to learn more.
On May 1 and 3, Tobias Picker conducts Emmeline at Tulsa Opera, where he has served as Artistic Director since 2016. This new production is set across the 1930s and 1950s. Based on a true story and the book Emmeline by Judith Rossner, the opera tells the story of an American teenager who is forced to give her illegitimate child up for adoption, only to fall from grace when family secrets are revealed twenty years later.
Originally set in mid-nineteenth-century Maine, this world-premiere production by director Tara Faircloth updates the opera for a contemporary audience.
Learn more about this exciting new production and purchase tickets here.
an opera in two acts
based on the novel by Judith Rossner
libretto (Eng) by J.D. McClatchy
4S, 2Mz, 2T, 2Bar, 2B; women’s chorus
2(2.pic).2.ca.2.bcl.0-22.214.171.124-2timp-hp.pno.harmonica(or synth)-str (on stage violin)
Chamber version (arranged by Samuel Bill, 2009)
4S, 2Mz, 2T, 2Bar, 2B; women’s chorus
A new recording of Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox has been released by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP). Gil Rose leads a cast of star singers including John Brancy as Mr. Fox, Edwin Vega as Farmer Bruce, and Elizabeth Futral as Miss Hedgehog. For more information about the new CD and to order a copy, click here.
A modern fable, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a story about good vs. evil, animal vs. human, nature vs. technology. With the help of the other creatures of the forest, Mr. Fox must outwit his human adversaries to keep his family safe. Mr. Fox finds that he may have stolen one hen too many from the henhouse, as farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean (one fat, one short, one lean) conspire to rid their lands of the Fox family once and for all. But our Fox family friends are able to evade capture with the help of some woodland allies, leaving the farmers laying in wait while the animals help themselves to the fruit of the farmers’ lands. Having had their revenge, the animals return for a sumptuous feast far from danger in the Foxes‘ new home, while the farmers continue to wait in vain in the rain. In addition to the original English language text, the opera is also available in a German singing translation.
To learn more about Tobias Picker, visit schott-music.com.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (1998)
libretto (Eng) by Donald Sturrock, based on the book by Roald Dahl
for 2 sopranos, 3 mezzo-sopranos, 3 tenors, 2 baritones, bass-baritone, bass and children's chorus
Reduced Orchestration Version (arr. 2010)
Chamber Version for 7 players (arr. 2010)
Opera Kansas presents a new production of Tobias Picker's beloved opera, Fantastic Mr. Fox on September 22-23 using the composer's chamber version of the work for seven players. Kenneth Tysick conducts and Ashley Winters directs.
A modern fable, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a story about good vs. evil, animal vs. human, and nature vs. technology. With the help of the other creatures of the forest, Mr. Fox must outwit his enemies to keep his family safe. Mr. Fox finds that he may have stolen one hen too many from the henhouse, as the meanest farmers anywhere — Boggis, Bunce, and Bean (one fat, one short, one lean) — conspire to rid their lands of the Fox family once and for all. The Foxes are able to evade capture with the help of some woodland friends, leaving the farmers laying in wait while the animals help themselves to the fruit of the farmers’ lands. Having had their revenge, the animals return for a sumptuous feast far from danger in the Foxes‘ new home, while the farmers continue to wait in the rain.
Named “our finest composer for the lyric stage” by The Wall Street Journal, Tobias Picker's operas are filled with exquisitely lyrical and dramatically potent arias which have been collected into anthologies for various voice types. Collections for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone/Bass are available from Schott Music in print and digital formats.
Listen to Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox in the chamber version here:
(Tobias Picker/Fantastic Mr. Fox/OPERA San Antonio/Andres Cladera, conductor/Erica Olden, director)
To learn more about Tobias Picker, please visit schott-music.com.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (1998)
opera in three acts (chamber version for 7 players)
libretto by Donald Sturrock
based on the book by Roald Dahl
arranged by Francesco Cilluffo (2010)
German version by Frank Wenzel
Fantastic Mr. Fox · baritone - Mrs. Fox · mezzo-soprano - Bennie, Lennie, Jennie & Pennie Foxcub · children - Farmer Boggis · bass - Farmer Bunce · tenor - Farmer Bean · bass-baritone - Mavis the Tractor · soprano - Agnes the Digger · mezzo-soprano - Miss Hedgehog · soprano - Badger the Miner · baritone - Burrowing Mole · tenor - Rita the Rat · mezzo-soprano - Porcupine · tenor - Chorus of Trees · Children - Various Geese and Chickens
0.0.1(bcl).1-0.0.0.0-perc(b.d, tempbl ,cym, s.d, gong, tom-t, xyl, ratchet)-pno-vn.va.vc
Boston University’s Opera Institute performs the chamber version of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, conducted by William Lumpkin, on February 21-24, 2019. Picker notes, “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.”Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne was hailed in its premiere production at the San Francisco Opera as “a brilliant musical incarnation” and “a momentous addition to the expanding canon of American opera” (Huffington Post). The new chamber version was jointly commissioned by New York City Opera and the Opera Institute at Boston University.
For more information on Tobias Picker, visit schott-music.com.
Dolores Claiborne (2013, arr. 2017)
an opera in two acts (chamber version)
libretto (Eng) by J.D. McClatchy, based on the novel by Stephen King
for two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor and bass-baritone
The Nashville Symphony, led by conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, performs Tobias Picker’s The Encantadas on March 8-9, 2019 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, featuring the composer as narrator. Tobias Picker draws his text from Herman Melville’s vivid and poetic descriptions of the sea-swept Galapagos Islands he visited in 1841, as part of a whaling voyage he undertook to gather background material for Moby Dick. Each of the six movements evokes a different picture of life in the islands’ equatorial wilderness. The composer capitalizes on the enchantment implicit in Melville’s title and so richly developed in the narration, aptly probing the sinister undercurrent that emerges from the text.
(Tobias Picker/The Encantadas/Houston Symphony Orchestra/
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor/Sir John Geilgud, narrator)
The Encantadas (1983)
for narrator and chamber orchestra
text (avail in En, Sp, Ger, Jap) by Herman Melville