The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Composer: John Eaton
Composer Bio: Called by Andrew Porter "the most interesting opera composer writing in America today," John Eaton is internationally recognized as a composer and performer of electronic and microtonal music. Eaton's operas include The Tempest (1985), commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, The Cry of Clytaemnestra (1980), a work with over 17 productions, including a joint US/USSR staging in Moscow, and Danton and Robespierre (1978).

In his chamber, vocal, and orchestral music, Eaton expands the traditional tools of the composer through microtonal scales - using a fuller spectrum of notes per octave than the usual twelve tones - and electronic instruments, such as the Syn-Ket.

Eaton's composition teachers included Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions. After receiving BA and MFA degrees at Princeton University, he performed extensively as a jazz pianist and synthesist. First joining the Indiana University faculty in 1970, John Eaton is currently Professor of Music Composition at the University of Chicago. He was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on 30 March 1935.

His awards include a 1990 MacArthur "genius award," three Prix de Rome and two Guggenheim grants, and commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, the Santa Fe Opera, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
Librettist: Estela Eaton
Librettist Bio: Estella Eaton is a published poet who has written four libretti for her father before The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all of which have been received with popular enthusiasm and critical acclaim: Traveling with Gulliver, Youth, "...inasmuch" and Pumped Fiction. She has also collaborated on operatic projects with several other composers. She is a teacher of English to non-speakers, and has taught in Seoul, Prague and New York City. She received a BA from the University of Iowa and a MFA in poetry from San Diego State University.
Other Artistic Personnel: Marco Capalbo (Director)
Janne Larsen (Scenographer)
Stephen Quandt (Lighting Director)
David A. Schnirman (Sound Design)
Shawn Duan (Projection Design)
April Mercedes Garcia (Costume Assistant)
Original Cast: Alejandro Acierto (clarinets, Passerby, Applicant, Frat Boy 1)
Dan Barrett (cello, Young Man 4, Frat Boy 2)
Matthew Burns (Dr. Keene, Child, Applicant, Young Man 3, Gen. Moncrief, Coach)
Tony Boutté (Roger Button, Roscoe Button)
Jennifer Connor (Child, Cheerleader)
Ethan Fran (Applicant, Young Man 2)
Dominic Inferrara (Young (old) Benjamin Button)
Margaret Lancaster (flutes, Passerby, Child, Applicant, Frat Boy 3)
Linda Larson (Young Teacher, Hildegarde Moncrief, Teddy)
Ana Milosavljevic (violin, Child, Applicant, Young Man 1, Frat Boy 4)
Christopher Oldfather (piano, Young Woman 2)
Jennifer Roderer (Nurse, Registrar, Rita, Nana)
Dennis Sullivan (percussion, Young Woman 1)
Chris Pedro Trakas (Old (young) Benjamin Button)
Premiere Date: June 15, 2010
Description: Benjamin Button is born as an old man who spends his life aging in reverse. The opera follows him as he attends kindergarten, gets married, enters the army and attends Harvard, all while growing younger and younger.
Character List (Major): Dr. Keene, Coach, General Moncrief, Reenlistment Officer (b-bar)
Roger Button, Roscoe Button (t)
Young (old) Benjamin Button (bar)
Young Teacher, Hildegarde Moncrief, Teddy (s)
Nurse, Registar, Rita, Nana (mz)
Old (young) Benjamin Button (bar)
Reviews: Fitzgerald ‘Case,’ Just as Curious When It’s Sung - The New York Times 06/16/2010
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: None.
Orchestration: 1 fl, 1 Cl(b-cl) - perc - pft - 1 vln, 1 vc

*Note: Members of the orchestra take part in the stage action and play small roles.
Contact: Pocket Opera Players
Address: 28 77nd St.
North Bergen, NJ 07047
E-mail Address:
Publisher Web Site:
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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