Brief Encounter
Composer: André Previn
Composer Bio: Conductor, composer and pianist André Previn is one of the most distinguished musicians of our time. His first opera, A Streetcar Named Desire, premiered at San Francisco Opera in 1998, with Renée Fleming as Blance Dubois and the composer at the podium. The opera was subsequently telecast on PBS and released on CD by Deutsche Grammophon (Grammy and Grand Prix du Disques awards), and it has been performed internationally. Mr. Previn’s many honors include Germany’s Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit, a Kennedy Center Honor for Lifetime Achievement, ten Grammy Awards and the Glenn Gould Foundation’s Glenn Gould Prize. Musical America has also named him Musician of the Year (1999), and in 1996, he was awarded the KBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He regularly appears with such orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony and San Francisco Symphony orchestras. He has held the chief artistic posts with such esteemed orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1985–89); Pittsburgh Symphony (1976–84); Royal Philharmonic (music director: 1985–88; principal conductor: 1988–91); London Symphony (music director: 1969–79; conductor laureate: since 1993); and Houston Symphony (1967–70), and has toured with all of them worldwide. In 2006, Mr. Previn completed a four-year term as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic.
Librettist: John Caird
Librettist Bio: The versatile Canadian-born, UK-based writer and director John Caird is honorary associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was associate director from 1977 to 1990. Recent productions with the RSC include The Beggar’s Opera, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Antony and Cleopatra and Richard Nelson’s Columbus and the Discovery of Japan. In collaboration with Trevor Nunn, he directed Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby at the Aldwych Theatre in June 1980 as well as the first English-language production of Les Misérables in 1985, both of which later went to Broadway and garnered numerous honors, including Tony Awards for the directors. Mr. Caird also directed and wrote the book for Paul Gordon’s Jane Eyre for Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for best book. He wrote and directed The Siegfried and Roy Spectacular for Las Vegas, and co-wrote and directed the musical Children of Eden with Stephen Schwartz at Prince Edward Theatre. His writing for the stage also includes The Kingdom of the Spirit and The Beggar’s Opera (based on the Brecht play), and for television an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV for the BBC. In opera, he has directed Mozart’s Zaide at Batignano, Italy, and Verdi’s Don Carlos for Welsh National Opera.
Other Artistic Personnel: Patrick Summers (Conductor)
Original Cast: Elizabeth Futral (Laura Jesson)
Nathan Gunn (Alec Harvey)
Kim Josephson (Fred Jesson)
Rebekah Camm (Dolly Messiter)
Meredith Arwady (Myrtle Bagot)
Robert Orth (Albert Godby)
James J. Kee (Dr. Graves)
Jamie Barton (Mary Norton)
Faith Sherman (Mrs. Rolandson)
Adam Cioffari (Stanley)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: May 01, 2009
Producing Company: Houston Grand Opera
Description: During the early years of World War II in England, Laura Jesson takes the train to a nearby town once a week for shopping and a movie. A chance encounter with Alec Harvey—who, like Laura, is married with two children—leads quickly to passion.

They continue to meet surreptitiously until they must finally decide between love and honor.
Character List (Major): Laura Jesson(mz)
Alec Harvey(bar)
Myrtle Bagot(cont)
Albert Godby(b)
Character List (Minor): Fred Jesson(bar)
Dolly Messiter(s)
Doctor Graves(bar)
Mary Norton(s)
Mrs. Rolandson(s)
Bit Parts: Maitre D'Hotel, Waiter at the Royal Hotel, Waiter in the Kardomah Café, Porters at the Station
Reviews: Review: André Previn's 'Brief Encounter' premieres in Houston - Los Angeles Times 5/3/2009
Length: 01:30
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: No chorus
Orchestration: 3 fl(picc), 2 ob(Eng Hrn), 2 cl(bcl), 2 bsn - 4 hrn, 3 tpt, 3 tbn, 1 tba - timp, 2 perc - cel, hp - str; onstage piano trio(vln, vc, pf) in Act I, Scene 6
Contact: G. Schirmer, Inc.
Address: 257 Park Avenue South, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10010
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-254-2100
Publisher Web Site:
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2008 Repertoire Development
Project Name: Brief Encounter
Awardee: Houston Grand Opera
Director: John Caird
Conductor: Patrick Summers
Designer: Bunny Christie, Paul Pyant
Audio Visual Materials
Houston Grand Opera

Schedule of Performances Listings
Brief Encounter (Previn)
Friday, May 1, 2009 - Houston Grand Opera
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