The Scarlet Ibis
Composer: Stefan Weisman
Composer Bio: Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times described Stefan Weisman's music as "personal, moody and skillfully wrought." When his song "Twinkie" was featured on the nationally syndicated program The Wendy Williams Show, the host said, "Very unique...You're not going to hear opera like this anywhere else...Fabulous!" His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, premiered at the East 13th Street Theater and toured Europe in 2007. It was released by Albany Records in November 2011. His one-act opera Fade, commissioned by the British opera company Second Movement, premiered in London in 2008 and also had productions in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Brooklyn. Among his other commissions are works for Bang on a Can, Sequitur, and the Empire City Men's Choir. In 2012, Inside Jersey Magazine selected him as one of twenty-one artists from New Jersey who are "breaking big." He is a graduate of Bard College (BA), Yale University (MA), and Princeton University (PhD). His composition instructors include David Lang, Joan Tower, Daron Hagen, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey, and Paul Lansky. Presently, he is on the faculty of the Bard High School Early College in Queens, New York. He has also taught at Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, the City College of New York, CUNY, and the Princeton University Department of Music. His music is available on New Amsterdam Records and Albany Records.
Librettist: David Cote
Librettist Bio: David Cote is the theater editor and lead drama critic for Time Out New York. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, The Times (UK), Opera News and The Guardian. For the Best Plays Yearbook series, David has contributed essays on Shining City, Blackbird, The Receptionist and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. He also reviews theater for NY1’s On Stage. He has written companion books to three hit Broadway musicals: Wicked: The Grimmerie, Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening: In the Flesh. In 2008, he was commissioned by the Gingold Theatrical Group to write a full-length play as part of its Press Cuttings program. He also writes screenplays and fiction. David teaches arts criticism at Brooklyn College. In 2009 he won a fellowship to the MacDowell Colony. He’s a member of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle and a 2011-12 member of the HERE Artist Residency Program with composer Stefan Weisman. In the 1990s, David was an actor and director, working with Richard Foreman, Richard Maxwell, Robert Cucuzza and the late Iranian expatriate auteur Assurbanipal Babilla. He founded and edited the theater publications OFF: the journal of alternative theater (1996-98) and EdgeNY (1999). Degree: B.A. Bard College, 1992. David was born and adopted in New Hampshire and currently lives in New York City.
Original Cast:

Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano

Eric Brenner, countertenor

Abigail Fischer, mezzo-soprano

Nicole Mitchell,  alto

Keith Phares, baritone

Premiere Date: January 08, 2015
Description: The Scarlet Ibis is an opera that fuses singers, puppetry and multimedia stagecraft to tell the story of Doodle, a remarkable, disabled boy whose older brother pushes him to be “normal.” Set in rural North Carolina a century ago, the story contrasts notions of physical wholeness versus mystical otherness. Episodic and expressionistic, the  narrative draws on elements of Southern Gothic, boy’s adventure and domestic tragedy. It unfolds in thirteen scenes, from Doodle’s traumatic birth to his tragic end. Ingenious set and puppet effects take us to various locations: a house, barn, field and swamp.
Character List (Major): Brother: Mezzo-Soprano
Doodle: Countertenor
Mother: Mezzo-Soprano
Auntie: Contralto
Father: Baritone
Length: 01:40
Total Acts: 1
Orchestration:

Oboe, B-flat Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Percussion

Contact: Not Available
Composer Web Site: http://stefanweisman.com
Librettist Web Site: http://davidcote.com
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