Tobias Picker’s “Thérèse Raquin” in New Production with Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theatre
Two of America’s premiere opera houses team up to present a new production of Tobias Picker’s modern opera classic Thérèse Raquin in 2015. Long Beach Opera leads off with performances on January 24 and February 1 at the Warner Grand Theatre in Los Angeles, and Chicago Opera Theater follows with performances on February 20, 22, 25, and 28 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago. The production features a stellar cast and creative team, featuring mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Stewart in the title role, tenor Matthew DiBattista as Camille, and baritone Ed Parks as Laurent. Andreas Mitisek conducts, with stage direction by Ken Cazan and set design by Alan E. Muraoka.
Based on the novel by Émile Zola and with a libretto by Gene Scheer, Thérèse Raquin was commissioned by The Dallas Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, and The San Diego Opera, and premiered by Dallas Opera in 2001. The work debuted to critical acclaim, hailed as “a superbly crafted stage work” (Dallas-Forth Worth Star-Telegram). Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theatre’s new production employs Picker’s version for reduced instrumentation, which premiered at London's Royal Opera House in 2006.
Thérèse Raquin is a story of love, lust, murder, and guilt—a drama perfectly suited for the operatic stage. Set in late-19th century Paris, Scheer’s libretto focuses on the turbulent affair of Thérèse, who rekindles a passionate romance with her old friend Laurent and is driven to murder her sickly husband Camille.