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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Harvey Milk
Stewart Wallace
Stewart Wallace was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Texas. The radical mix of jazz, blues, gospel, Tejano, rock and classical music there profoundly influenced him. He played in a rock and roll band and sang as a cantor in the synagogue. For his thesis at the University of Texas at Austin, he wrote his first opera, though he was studying literature and philosophy, not music; and at 28 years old, he had his first major premiere Where's Dick? at Houston Grand Opera. This was the beginning of his fruitful and ongoing collaboration with librettist Michael Korie. Like many subsequent Wallace works, Where's Dick? wrestles with the myth of America and its politics, in this case seen through a series of comic book grotesques doing vaudeville turns.

Now forty-four years old, the versatile composer has written music in every genre with performances throughout the world.

From his website,
Michael Korie
Christopher Alden, Director; Ward Holmquist, Conductor
Original Cast: Harvey Milk, Robert Orth; Dan White/Man in Trenchcoat/Cop, Raymond Very; George Moscone/Horst Brauer/The Teamster, Gidon Saks; Scott/Closet Lover, Bradley Williams; Dianne Feinstein/Mama, Juliana Gondek; Messenger/Mintz/Empress/Reverend Barcus, James Maddalena; Anne Kronenberg/The Beard, Jill Grove; Henry Wong/Closet Lover, Randall Wong; Young Harvey, Matthew Cavenaugh
January 21, 1995
Houston Grand Opera
Act I: The Closet: Dianne Feinstein, President of the Board of Supervisors, announces the murder of Milk and Mayor George Moscone, identifying Dan White as the suspect. Young Harvey, standing at the old Metropolitan Opera, wonders about the "men without wives" and follows them, after the opera, to Central Park. There he is arrested and handcuffed. The boy transforms into Milk later in life as a 39-year old Wall Street stockbroker, still handcuffed, representing his repressed sexual identity. Scott Jones, a street activist and Milk's lover, ridicules Harvey's fears and dares him to confront his identity. The act ends as Harvey snaps free of his handcuffs, embracing his identity. Act II: The Castro: Dan White, a fireman, laments the transformation of his old, Irish neighborhood into the Castro, San Francisco's openly gay ghetto. Milk is now an activist for gay and minority rights. He runs for office and loses. Outside on the street, a gay man is beaten to death. Dan White is elected to the Board of Supervisors, condemning the gay community. Harvey Milk, in retaliation, is elected to the Board of Supervisors on the platform of hope and faith in the power of every individual to affect change. Act III: City Hall: Milk and White clash over neighborhood issues. White votes against Milk's gay rights ordinance and resigns in fury. White, backed by a group of downtown real estate interests, tries to regain his position. Milk convinces the Mayor not to reinstate White. White plots his revenge. The opera ends with a candlelight vigil representing the silent parade down Market Street the night of the killings.
Harvey Milk (bar)
Dan White/Man in Trenchcoat/Cop #1 (t)
Scott Smith/Man at the Opera (Scott)/Closet Lover/Craig (t)
George Moscone/Man at the Opera (Horst)/Teamster/Concentration Camp Inmate (b)
Henry Wong/Man at the Opera (Wong)/Closet Lover Joe/a Man (ct)
Messenger/Man at the Opera (Mintz)/Fat Man (in park – Mintz)/Mintz/Empress/Another Man/Drum Major (bar)
Diane Feinstein/Beard/Hooker (s)
Mama (s or mz)
Anne Kronenberg/Dyke (mz)
Medora/Young Girl (s)
Quentin Kopp/Closet Lover Jack/Arrival #3 - Stonewall Girl/Mailman
Young Harvey/Arrival #6/Handicapped Son (Young Boy)
Carol Ruth Silver/Arrival #1
Ella Hill Hutch (African-American)/Old Lady #1
Robert Gonzales (Hispanic)/Arrival #5 - Stonewall Girl
Robert Pelosi/Bald Man (in park)/Arrival #4 – Stonewall Girl
John Molinari/Cop/Arrival #2 – Stonewall Girl/Blue Collar Man
Lee Dolson/Cleveland/Stonewall Girl
Gordon Lau (Asian)
The New York Times, Bernard Holland, 4-30-95; The New York Times, Bernard Holland, 4-6-95; The Village Voice, Leighton Kerner, 4-4-95; The New York Times, K. Robert Schwarz, 4-2-95
Length is not available.
SATB; includes some bit parts (AMGA minimum 32)
Tonal; chromatic, with occasional full atonality; post-minimalist repetition; popular music influences; some musical quotations; broad vocal lines
Sidmar Music, ASCAP
Schedule of Performances Listings
Harvey Milk (Wallace)
Saturday, November 09, 1996 - San Francisco Opera
Harvey Milk (Wallace)
Tuesday, April 04, 1995 - New York City Opera
Harvey Milk (Wallace)
Saturday, January 21, 1995 - Houston Grand Opera

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
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  • Emerging Artists: Act One

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