The word “genius” gets tossed around a lot in the music world, but most agree that Wolfgang A. Mozart deserves the accolade. Conductor Steven Smith and stage director Lillian Groag, who are collaborating on Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” have no trouble citing examples of the composer’s amazing talents. The Virginia Opera production of this comic masterpiece will open Saturday in Norfolk.
“I think ‘Streetcar’ is an opera already, except that it doesn’t have music,” composer André Previn once said in sizing up Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Virginia Opera’s powerhouse production of Previn’s three-hour 1998 opera, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” now in the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage, shows just how right he was.
“Hey Stelllaaa! Hey Stelllaaa!” Marlon Brando’s bellow in the film of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is one of the most memorable moments in cinema history. Drunk and soaked, Brando’s Stanley Kowalski is a brutish animal calling for his mate, and Stella doesn’t disappoint. Slowly, seductively, his wife descends a staircase to meet him.
Virginia Opera’s third installment in their 2013 American series, A Streetcar Named Desire, an opera in three acts premiered at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm. Originally written in 1947 by American playwright Thomas “Tennessee” Williams, who received the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Streetcar was finally presented as an opera by first-class composer André Previn and premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 1998.
“This is one of those rare productions in which the cast, director, conductor, and designers are all deeply committed to the story and were pretty much on the same page from day one.”
The Virginia Opera once again takes a daring move, bringing its company and Fairfax County premiere production of André Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts tomorrow, March 1, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 2 p.m. Previn’s nearly new opera, premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 1998, adds a modernist score to Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play re-creating the playwright’s famously brutal almost-love story for the musical stage.
Virginia Opera’s production of Andre Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” arrives at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts this week. This third installment in the company’s American opera cycle is based on Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in New Orleans during the 1940s.
The Virginia Opera production of A Streetcar Named Desire gave a new perspective on a classic American play, then movie and now an opera (1998). Director Sam Helfrich has said “I discovered that the music had the ability to cleverly reveal aspects of each character that could easily remain hidden in a straight reading of the play.”
“Who wants real? I know I don’t want it. I want magic!” are lines of dialogue many know. In the past, these lines from Tennessee Williams’ legendary 1948 Pulitzer Prize winning “A Streetcar Named Desire” have been spoken, and not associated with music or singing. That has now changed. As an opera, with music in a key central role throughout, the rarely performed in D.C, “Streetcar,” with its memorably rich, damaged characters, takes on a whole new life.
Does it conjure up images of long dead classical composers like Mozart and Verdi; centuries old tales filled with plot twists involving Valkyries and sprites; divas belting out songs in German or Italian? The Virginia Opera is boldly trying to change those perceptions of opera with a season filled with modern and American opera selections. An operatic version of the classic Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire opened Saturday night at the Harrison Opera House.