CAT: The Opera-Musical
Composer: Kitty Brazelton
Composer Bio: Kitty Brazelton (D.M.A. Columbia University 1994) rejoices in the keener expression she gets by infusing vernacular American dialects into deep, complex structures. Her full-length opera, Fireworks, commissioned by American Opera Projects and directed by Grethe Barrett Holby, concerns an extraterrestrial discovering the 4th of July. She leads exploded rock bands (her second CD with the nonet DADADAH, Love Not Love Lust Not Lust, was hailed by Rolling Stone as an "album of impressive nerve") and composes dynamic orchestral works (Sleeping Out of Doors (1998), her piano concerto commissioned and premiered by conductor Kristjan Järvi's Absolute Ensemble, featured electric bass and amplified classical guitar). Her chamber music ranges from the N.Y.S.C.A. - commissioned cyber-punk fantasia 5 dreams; marriage (premiered by her unique quartet, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BAT? with interactive computer composer Dafna Naphtali, at Sound Sumposium 2000 in Newfoundland) to innovative works for the Manhattan Brass Quintet and the California EAR Unit (heard on her recent CRI Emergency disc, Chamber Music for the Inner Ear).

Danny Felsenfeld, in his April 2002 Time Out New York review of Chamber Music for the Inner Ear, explains it this way: "Brazelton is a totalist composer, part of a generation that believes that there's more than one way to compose and that all musical genres are available for use, from high modernism to downtown funk."

Ever since, in her bands such as Hide the Babies, Dadadah, Hildegurls (with co-composer Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa and Elaine Kaplinsky) and Bat?, in electronic compositions prepared at the Columbia Computer Music Center, and in special projects such as those for pianist Kathleen Supové, duos twisted tutu and Double Edge, choreographers Jody Oberfelder and Gina Gibney, ensembles Kitchen House Blend and Relâche, and operas with Grethe Barrett Holby.
Librettist: George Plimpton
Librettist Bio: George Plimpton (March 18, 1927 - September 25, 2003) created the genre of 'participatory journalism' and is best known and admired for being a "professional amateur", writing about his adventures in sports and many other walks of life, in books and magazine articles. He was a master of the literary short form, and has brought joy to many with his humor and positive outlook on life and the foibles of the world at large. An American journalist, author and editor of the Paris Review, Plimpton was born in NYC, attended Harvard University where he was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He then served as a tank driver in Italy for the US Army, then attended King's College at Cambridge University in England. In 1953 he joined the influential literary journal The Paris Review, becoming its first Editor in Chief, a position he continued until his death in 2003. Plimpton was most famous for competing in professional sporting events and then recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur.

In 1960, prior to the second of baseball's two All-Star games, Plimpton pitched against the National League. His experience was captured in the book Out Of My League. Plimpton sparred for three rounds with boxing greats Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson, while on assignment for Sports Illustrated. In 1963, Plimpton attended pre-season training with the Detroit Lions as a backup quarterback and ran a few plays from scrimmage in an exhibition game, subsequently penning his best known book, Paper Lion. A further book, Open Net, saw him train as an ice hockey goalie with the Boston Bruins. Among other challenges for Sports Illustrated, he attempted to play top-level bridge, and spent some time as a high-wire circus performer. Some of these events were presented on the ABC television network as a series of specials. Plimpton appeared in a number of feature films, as an extra and in cameo appearances. He was also notable for his appearance in television commercials during the early 1980s, advertising Intellivision sports video games for Mattel, and for being the host of the Disney Channel's Mouseterpiece Theatre. He appeared in an episode of The Simpsons as host of the "Spellympics" and had a recurring role as the grandfather of the Dr. Carter character on the long-running NBC medical television series, ER. Plimpton died of natural causes at his apartment in New York City at the age of 76.
Other Artistic Personnel: Grethe Barrett Holby (Director )
Original Cast: Nathan Resika (Dr. Alfred J. McGee)
Claire Neumann (Cat)
Matthew Musgrove (Vet Assistant)
Kirsten Hopkins (Vet Assistant)
Premiere Date: September 19, 2010
Producing Company: Family Opera Initiative - Ardea Arts
Description: Dealing with the themes of Friendship, Bullying, and the Magical World of Animals and Letters, CAT also explores many musical forms and styles, and brings the humor, fun and imagination of opera to both the young and the young at heart. In addition, the audience learns three songs to sing along with before the opera begins, and rehearses the making of the storm with the Maestro.
Character List (Major): Dr. Alfred J. McGee (bass)
Cat (soprano)
Reviews: ‘CAT: THE OPERA-MUSICAL’ - The New York Times 9/16/2010
Length: 00:45
Total Acts: 1
Contact: Family Opera Initiative/ArdeaArts
Address: 463 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
E-mail Address:
Phone: (212) 431-7039
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Cat: The Opera-Musical (Brazelton)
Sunday, September 19, 2010 - Family Opera Initiative - Ardea Arts
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