I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky
Composer: John Adams
Librettist: June Jordan
Other Artistic Personnel: Paul Dresher Ensemble
Peter Sellars (Stage Director)
Grant Gershon (Music Director)
Mark Grey (Sound Designer)
Gronk and other LA graffiti artists (Sets)
Work Web Site: http://www.earbox.com/W-ceiling.html
Premiere Date: May 13, 1995
Producing Company: University of California, Berkeley
Description: In a poor neighborhood of Los Angeles, the lives of seven young characters become entwined when Dewain, a former gang leader, is arrested by a policeman (Mike) for shoplifting two bottles of beer. He had been hurrying home to see his girlfriend Consuelo, an undocumented political refugee from El Salvador who is the mother of his baby. Dewain faces a harsh mandantory sentence if convicted of this petty crime, his third offense. Mike’s arrest of Dewain is captured on videotape for a local TV station program hosted by Tiffany, an anchorwoman. Tiffany is attracted to Mike, but her interest is not reciprocated. Meanwhile, David, a charismatic local preacher, is romancing Leila, a community activist. Rick, the public defender assigned to Dewain’s case, makes an impassioned plea in court for releasing Dewain. An earthquake hits the city, and the crisis causes much soul-searching. David realizes he is truly in love with Leila. Mike acknowledges that he is gay; Tiffany turns her attention toward Rick, who was dazzled by her at the trial. Consuelo tries to convince Dewain to run away with her to El Salvador, but he decides to stay.
Character List (Major): Tiffany, a white TV crime-as-news reporter (mz) David, a black Baptist minister (high t)
Mike, a white cop (bar)
Dewain, a black reformed gang leader (bar)
Leila, a black graduate student working as a sex counselor in an abortion clinic (mz)
Consuelo, an undocumented immigrant mother of two, from El Salvador (mz)
Rick, a Vietnamese American legal aid defence attorney (t)
Reviews: New York Times, Edward Rothstein, 7/30/1995;
Length: 01:50
Total Acts: 2
Orchestration: 2 reeds(I=cl,bcl,II=asax)-3kbd(I=pft/sampler,II=sampler,III=synth) - gtr(=elec.gtr) - db(=elec.bass gtr) - drum kit(=MIDIdrums) For complete technical requirements go to: http://www.earbox.com/tech-guide/eq/ja-c-s-eq.htm
Contact: Hendon Music / Boosey & Hawkes
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address: composers.us@boosey.com
Phone: 212-358-5300
Composer Web Site: http://www.earbox.com
Publisher Web Site: http://www.boosey.com/pages/opera/moredetails.asp?musicid=1186
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