World Premiere of Tobias Picker’s “Opera Without Words” with the National Symphony Orchestra
On March 10, Christoph Eschenbach leads the National Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Opera Without Words, a major new work for orchestra. The premiere takes place at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with repeat performances on March 11 and 12.
Picker’s Opera Without Words was co-commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, through a grant from the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund for New Orchestra Works, and by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The work is a remarkable and unusual musical drama that explores a mysterious narrative through five scenes: “The Beloved,” The Minstrel,” “The Idol,” “The Gladiator,” and “The Farewell.” Picker elaborates on the work’s unique genesis:
Opera Without Words is a music drama about some of the fascinating people I have known. In beginning to compose this work, I found myself reviewing the differences and similarities between a concerto for an orchestra and an opera. As a result, I approached this new orchestral work as I would an opera; I hired a librettist, Irene Dische, and set her words not to voices but to musical instruments, unfettered by considerations of vocal range and technique. When I finished the opera with words, I removed the text, leaving but a few traces and artifacts of the deleted libretto in the score.
Also this month, the Jacksonville Symphony performs Picker’s beloved orchestral tone poem, Old and Lost Rivers. Performances take place March 3, 4 and 5 at the Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall in Jacksonville, FL, led by Michael Butterman.
For more information on Tobias Picker, visit schott-music.com.