“The Old Man and the Sea” is a contemporary opera that will have its world premiere at ASU Gammage Nov. 4. Created by composer Paola Prestini, librettist Royce Vavrek and director Karmina Šilec, it presents a dual track of storytelling by combining the original short story with portraits of author Ernest Hemingway’s life. The cast brings to life the original book characters Santiago and Manolin, and amplifies the tale by bringing in a chorus who bears witness to the storytelling onstage. Phoenix Chorale and Prestini’s own husband, renowned cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, will be a part of the premiere.”
More about the production:
Under the auspices of the producers Beth Morrison Projects, and prepared musically at the start of the project by the Chorale’s Assistant Conductor Tom Peterson, around half of Phoenix Chorale’s singers have played an integral part of the technical workshopping of this opera’s staging during August and September, in addition to rehearsing for, and performing in the November premiere.
About the workshop from BMP:
“ASU Gammage, our lead commissioner and production partner for The Old Man and the Sea, provided BMP with the extraordinary opportunity to take over their stage for two weeks for a full technical residency of the piece. Unlike a typical workshop, where we’d be in a rehearsal studio, this workshop allowed us to replicate performance conditions, giving us time to truly integrate Paola’s and Royce’s music and words, director Karmina Silec’s
vision, and all the complexities of sets, sound, costumes and lights.”
“BMP productions are ambitious, and The Old Man and the Sea is no exception. It’s a beautifully designed but technically complicated piece, with hundreds of props, multiple costume changes, and giant pools of water onstage. We usually only have a few days to put all of the technical elements of a production together; having an additional two weeks of time on stage allowed this piece to showcase the artists’ work to its fullest potential.”
Julia Mendes, BMP Senior Associate Producer