Elmer Gantry
Composer: Robert Aldridge
Composer Bio: GRAMMY®-winning composer Robert Livingston Aldridge (1954, Richmond,VA) has written over sixty works for orchestra, opera, music-theater, voice, dance, string quartet, solo and chamber ensembles. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe and Japan and Australia. He has received numerous fellowships and awards for his music from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Massachusetts Artist's Foundation, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, Meet the Composer, The American Symphony Orchestra League, the New Jersey Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
Librettist: Herschel Garfein
Librettist Bio: Herschel Garfein is a Grammy Award-winning American composer, librettist, stage director, and faculty member of the Steinhardt School of Music at New York University, where he teaches Script Analysis. Garfein is widely known for his libretto written for Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry, which won two 2012 Grammy Awards including "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" won by Garfein and Aldridge.[1] He also collaborated with Aldridge on the oratorio Parables. In his compositions for the musical Suenos he found an inspiration in Hispanic rhythms.[2] Garfein also composed the music and libretto for an opera based on the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.[3]
Other Artistic Personnel: John Hoomes (Director)
William Boggs (Conductor)
Takeshi Kata (Designer)
Original Cast: Keith Phares (Elmer Gantry)
Jennifer Rivera (Sharon)
Frank Kelley (Gantry's rival)
Kristopher Irmiter (T.J. Rigg)
Vale Rideout (Frank)
Malinda Haslett (Baines)
Brian Banion (Baines' Reverend father)
Work Web Site: http://www.elmergantryopera.com
Premiere Date: November 16, 2007
Producing Company: Nashville Opera
Description: Elmer Gantry is a full length, two-act opera based on the 1927 Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name, which was sighted by the Nobel prize committee when Lewis was the first American to receive the Novel prize for literature in 1930.
Character List (Major): Sharon Falconer (mz)
Eddie Fislinger (t)
Elmer Gantry (bar)
Lulu Baines (s)
Frank Shallard (t)
Rev. Arthur Baines (bb)
Character List (Minor): Mrs. Baines (mz)
T. J. Rigg (b)
Revival Singer (bar)
Bit Parts: Bully (t)
Revival Worker (bar)
Child (treble)
Dr. Binch (t)
3 Men in a Crowd (t, bar, b) Ice Cream Vendor (t)
Woman 1 (s)
Woman 2 (mz)
Man 1 (bar)
Keely Family Singers (s, mz, t, b)
Women’s Chorus Leader (spoken)
Tour Guide (mz)
Reporter (spoken)
Worker 1 (b)
Worker 2 (t)
Reviews: Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, 11-18-07; Martin Brady, Nashville Scene, 11-22-07
Comments: Many of the characters of the novel (especially the title character) and the ideas and emotions put forth therein are quite bigger than life. I feel these ideas and characters would lend themselves to the heightened emotional treatment that only opera can.
Video Clip:
Length: 02:45
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: SATB, including many bit parts
Orchestration: 2 (II=Picc).2(II=Ca).2(II=B-cl).2—2.2(in C).1.B-tbn . 1 —Timp—2Perc—Pf (on stage)—Hp—Str
Musical Style: traditional classical style with gospel
Contact: Edition Peters
Composer Web Site: http://www.robertlivingstonaldridge.com/
Publisher Web Site: http://www.edition-peters.com
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2005 Audience Development Project
Project Name: ELMER GANTRY - New American Works Initiative
Awardee: Nashville Opera Association
Director: John Hoomes
Award Category: 2007 Audience Development Project
Project Name: New Audience/New Works Initiative, Phase 2 (Elmer Gantry)
Awardee: Nashville Opera Association
Award Category: 2013 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Project Name: Elmer Gantry
Awardee(s): Stephanie Havey
Director: Stephanie Havey
Designer: Set Designer: Patrick Rizzotti, Costume Designer: Megan Spatz, Lighting Designer: Brandon Mitchell

"Elmer Gantry lived in a world of small town communities built on trust, friendship and faith. Identity was found in the church, a social club, a university or the local football team. Though revered and praised in every circle of the community, Elmer finds himself desperately unsatisfied. His first encounter with Sharon Falconer brings him to his knees. His insecurities consume him, “You’re not the only one with holy thoughts.” Elmer’s conversion stems from this insecurity and lack of identity. He is transformed into a ravenous minister who envisions Sharon’s congregation at his feet, spellbound by a holiness that he is determined to produce. He is driven by a vision of “flaming tongues in the nighttime air, saying ‘Never the same again, Elmer Gantry, never the same again.’” "
About the 2013 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
This bi-annual program is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. OPERA America will consider applications from director- or designer-driven teams of artists. Each team must create a production proposal for an American opera, chosen from a curated list. The Director-Designer Showcase is open to emerging opera/theater artists, regardless of membership status with OPERA America. Each team received $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models. The teams were also mentored by one of the panelists as the final presentations are prepared. Up to two representatives from each finalist team will receive travel, lodging and registration to attend Opera Conference 2013 in Vancouver, B.C., in May 2013 to present their proposals to opera producers at a special session and to network with conference attendees.

The four finalist teams were selected by panelists David B. Devan, general director, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Jane Greenwood, designer; Sam Helfrich, stage director; and Kurt Howard, producing director, Fort Worth Opera.
Schedule of Performances Listings
Elmer Gantry (Aldridge)
Friday, March 13, 2015 - Florentine Opera Company
Elmer Gantry (Aldridge)
Friday, February 28, 2014 - Tulsa Opera
Elmer Gantry (Aldridge)
Friday, March 19, 2010 - Florentine Opera Company
Elmer Gantry (Aldridge)
Friday, November 16, 2007 - Nashville Opera
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Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621
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