Metropolitan Opera commissions new work from Wynton Marsalis and John Guare

The Metropolitan Opera has commissioned a new opera from Wynton and award-winning playwright John Guare. The project was revealed during an interview Met general manager Peter Gelb gave to yesterday.

The venture is in its earliest stages, so no subject or working title has yet been chosen and no anticipated completion date has yet been set, according to a Met spokesperson.
Guare, winner of the Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Olivier and many other awards and honors, is the author of, among other plays, Six Degrees of Separation, House of Blue Leaves, Bosoms and Neglect, Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, Marco Polo Sings a Solo and Lydie Breeze. While he wrote the libretto for the 1972 musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona, this will be his first opera text.

The Marsalis/Guare commission is part of Gelb’s endeavor to increase collaboration between the Metropolitan Opera and the vibrant New York theater scene – and to acquaint drama lovers with the theatrical power opera can offer.
The centerpiece of that effort is a long-term collaboration with Lincoln Center Theater on a series of projects that, depending on how they develop, could end up as large-scale operas, chamber operas or serious musicals seen on either company’s stage. Among the other participants in this project are composer Jake Heggie, who has already written the operas Dead Man Walking and The End of the Affair; Michael John LaChiusa, who has written music and text of both musicals (The Wild Party, Hello Again, Bernarda Alba) and operas (Lovers and Friends (Chautauqua Variations) and Send (who are you? i love you), which premiered at Houston Grand Opera earlier this year with Audra McDonald); music theater composer Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins); the composer/librettist team of Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner (Caroline, or Change and the new adaptation of Brecht’s Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep currently playing in Central Park); and renowned folk-pop singer/male diva/opera queen Rufus Wainwright.

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