Surrender Road
Composer: Marcus Hummon
Composer Bio: Marcus Hummon, has been one of Nashville's most consistently successful and innovative songwriters, and was named "Nashville's Top Songwriter" by the Nashville Scene's Readers Poll three years in a row. He has penned, or co-penned, hits for Sara Evans ("Born to Fly"), the Dixie Chicks ("Ready to Run" and "Cowboy, Take Me Away"), Tim McGraw ("One of These Days"), Wynonna ("Only Love"), and most recently, Rascal Flatts ("Bless the Broken Road"), along with many others, garnering Grammy, CMA, and Tony nominations.

Along the way, he has also recorded and released five albums of his own. The first, the critically acclaimed All in Good Time, on Columbia Records, two sterling independent label releases, The Sound of One Fan Clapping and Looking for the Child, and his latest EP, Revolution on Velvet Armadillo Records, and Supernatural released on the London Rock Label, Track Records, in the UK, and Western Beat in the US. Marcus's diverse career has also included a published book of poetry, entitled "Gospel Haiku," and the lyrics for the PBS children's cartoon series, "Book of Virtues."

Venturing into theatre, Marcus has received Metro and Tennessee Arts Grants for three of his musicals: American Duet, co-written with Bill Feehely, Artistic Director of Actors Bridge, Francis of Guernica, performed by Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Warrior, a work based on the life of Jim Thorpe, the great Native American Athlete, which premiered at the new Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Warrior also garnered Marcus the award for creative achievement given by the Native American Association of Tennessee. His latest produced work, The Piper, debuted at the Hartt School in Hartford, CT in April, 2004, and his new musical, Atlanta, will be produced by Actors Bridge in January, 2005. In New York, American Duet received a staged reading at the New 42nd Street Studios in January, 2004, and is slated to open off Broadway in September, 2005. His opera, Poor Players, is scheduled to be performed by the Nashville Opera in November, 2005. His musicals have not only played to sell out crowds, but have also generated great reviews and multiple "Tennie" (Tennessean Theatre Critic) awards. In his review of American Duet, The Tennessean's theatre critic, Kevin Nance, wrote:

"...Hummon offers a visionary alternative. His score for American Duet-a pulsing, yearning, soaring amalgam of Afropop and country styles-masterfully delineates and then subtly blends the two genres so that, by the end, the differences between them all but disappear and a new thing, a third thing, has taken their place. The result is no self-conscious hybrid; it has its own kind of integrity, perfect and whole."
Librettist: Marcus Hummon
Other Artistic Personnel: John Hoomes, Director; Michael Ching, Conductor; Barry Steel, Lighting Designer; Ron Kadri, Set Designer; Pamela Lizenby, Costume Designer; Amy Tate Willliams, Chorus Master; Jonathan Yudkin, Orchestrator
Original Cast: Hugo Vera as Manuel, Pilar Cragan as Emily, Richard Drews as Manuel's mentor, Alonzo Murphy-Johnson as Vito, Ben Ward as Contender, Bart LeFan as Marco, Joey Jackson as Boss, Brit Savage as Bartender, Scat Springs as Max
Premiere Date: November 18, 2005
Producing Company: Nashville Opera Association
Description: Surrender Road is an opera about a down-on-his-luck boxer and a young struggling artist, Emily, whom he meets on a subway one fateful evening. Manuel, the young boxer with a big heart and dreams to match, is unfortunately caught up in the corruption of the fight game, and seemingly predestined for a life of near misses, fixed fights, disappointment, even tragedy. He is like many of us, perhaps most of us, a poor player, a loser.

The opera begs the question: is Manuel's plight any less tragic than that of Hamlet, or Lear? Is his love for Emily any less doomed than Romeo's love for Juliet? It became clear that the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" that beset even the meanest life are ultimately, Shakespearean. Shakespeare's work has become synonymous with classicism, distinct and distant for many, from the populism of our culture. And yet, in Shakespeare's time, the plays were clearly written as much for the groundlings standing for tuppence, as they were for the royals in their elevated box seats.
Comments: This work was formerly known as Poor Players
Length: 01:15
Total Acts: 2
Musical Style: Mixture of styles from classical, jazz and Broadway to soul and pop
Contact: John Hoomes, Nashville Opera
Address: 3628 Trousdale Drive, Suite D
Nashville, TN 37204
E-mail Address: jhoomes@nashvilleopera.org
Phone: 615-832-5242
Schedule of Performances Listings
Surrender Road (Hummon)
Monday, November 28, 2005 - Nashville Opera
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