Red Emma
Composer: Gary Kulesha
Librettist: Cary Bolt
Other Artistic Personnel: Gary Wedow, Conductor; David William, Director; Donna Feore, Choreographer; Teresa Przybylski, Set and Costume Designer; John A. Munro, Lighting Designer
Original Cast: Rayanne Dupuis/Nathalie Paulin as Helen, Dan Chamandy as Fedya, Igor Emelianov as Sasha, Sonya Gosse/Anita Krause as Emma, Marcos Pujol as Kreiderman, Bruce Schaef as Parks, Robert Milne as Henry Clay Frick, Matthew Lord as Johann Most
Premiere Date: November 28, 1995
Producing Company: Canadian Opera Company, du Maurier Theatre
Description: Twenty-year-old Emma Goldman arrives in New York City at the end of the 19th century. Full of idealism, she is passionately committed to the abstract beliefs of anarchism, a left-wing turn-of-the-century dogma. In New York, she encounters Alexander Berkman and Johann Most, two of the leading figures in anarchy, and sequentially has relationships with both men. As the opera progresses, she discovers that her idealism seems to be more deeply rooted than the idealism of those around her. The story of the opera concerns Emma's coming to consciousness, and her growing awareness that if change happens, she herself will have to make it happen-a particularly unusual situation for a woman in the late 1890s.
Reviews: The Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson, 12-11-95; NOW Magazine, Jon Kaplan, 12-7-95; Maclean's, John Bemrose, 12-11-95; Music Works Magazine, Sibylle Preuschat, 3-96; The Toronto Star, Vit Wagner, 11-25-95; The Ottawa Citizen, 11-25-95; The Hamilton Spectator, 11-25-95; The Toronto Star, William Littler, 11-29-95; The Toronto Sun, Wilder Penfield III, 11-29-95; The Buffalo News, Herman Trotter, 11-29-95; The Globe and Mail, Elissa Poole, 11-30-95; Opera Canada, Paula Citron, 12-1-95; Radio: CFRB-FM, Jeremy Brown, 11-29-95; 680 News, Dick Smyth, 11-29-95; Classical 96-FM, Catherine Belyea, 11-29-95; CJRT-FM, Jon Kaplan, 12-1-95.
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: fl, ob, cl, bsn - hrn - perc, pf (syn) - 2 vln, vla, vc, db
Musical Style: The opera is crafted in arias, duets, and ensembles, accessibly tonal, and tuneful. The music exhibits a wide range of coloration and an imaginative use of a small chamber ensemble. The composer has a flair for writing both brief motivic interchanges and longer cantabile soliloquies for the singers which carve distinctive, memorable musical profiles. The musical language is tonal and inventively chromatic, veering towards atonality and dissonance when crises in the story require it.
Contact: Canadian Opera Company
Address: 227 Front Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 1E8 Canada
Phone: 416-363-6671
Schedule of Performances Listings
Red Emma (Kulesha)
Tuesday, November 28, 1995 - Canadian Opera Company
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