Podcast 57: Evan Mack and The Ghosts of Gatsby

Evan Mack joins us to share his innovative ideas for opera, including a twitter opera, a setting of the Kennedy supreme court ruling on gay marriage, Yeltsin in Texas, and more. His opera The Ghosts of Gatsby will be performed at the National Opera Center January 11, 2019.

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Evan Mack, Composer

  • Paul Tonko, representative of the great State of New york, proclamation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Ghost of Gatsby
    • Evan Mack, Composer
    • Joshua McGuire, Librettist
    • Opera America New Works Forum, January 2019

Sharin Apostolou, soprano joins us this month filling in for Brooke.

What We’ve Seen:

  • Peter Szep is the featured artist on  Matthan Ring Black’s weekly Podcast “Doing the Work”
  • Peter & Walker
    • Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito
    • Robert Carsen – production
    • Michael Lavine – set design
    • Christian Van Horn – Mefistofele
    • Metropolitan Opera, NYC
  • Walker
    • NY Philharmonic Young Audience Concert
  • Evan
    • Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena based on the Mexican folk tale, The Poinsettia
      • Evan Mack, composer
      • Joshua McGuire, librettist
      • San Francisco Opera, CA
      • Opera In the Heights, Houston, TX
      • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX
      • Fresno State Opera, commisioner
      • Anthony P. Radford, Professor of Voice & Opera
  • Sharin
    • Marnie by Nico Muhly
    • Metropolitan Opera, NYC
  • Peter
    • New Camerata Opera
    • Kamala Sankaram
      • The Enchantress about Ada Lovelace
      • Bombay Rickey
        • Ima Sumak
    • The Good Swimmer
      • Heidi Rodewald, composer
      • Donna Di Novelli, librettist
      • Kevin Newbury, director
      • BAM, 2018 Next Wave Festival, NY
    • The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet
      • Alexander Birch Elliott, Zurga
      • Javier Camarena, Nadir
      • Pretty Yende, Leila
    • Il Trittico by Giacomo Puccini
      • Elena Stikhina, Suor Angelica
      • Stephanie Blythe, La Principessa

How to create a character that the audience can relate to.

  • The Magic Flute
    • Barrie Kosky, director
    • Opera Philadelphia
    • Tamino & Papageno are both operatic characters that if directed or performed correctly the audience is able to easily relate to them.
  • Fellow Travelers is a contemporary opera with relatable characters
  • Angel of the Amazon by Evan Mack (Composer & Librettist) based on the life of Sister Dorothy Stang
    • Encompass New Opera Theatre
    • Nancy Rhodes, director
    • Baryshnikov Arts Center

Evan & Joshua’s work process:

  • Creating the universe of their opera and it’s truth
    • First they work thru the emotional map of the characters/story to make sure that they are both on the same page.
  • The Secret of Luca
  • Roscoe, a Grand Opera based on the book by William Kennedy
  • Lucinda y los Flores de la Nochebuena
    • Alejandra Tejeda, Lucinda (role originator)
    • Fresno State Opera
  • Evan performed in musicals and plays when he was growing up.
    • Forestburgh Playhouse
      • South Pacific
      • Lost In Yonkers
  • Roscoe received development assistance from:
    • Schenectady Symphony
    • Albany Symphony
    • Full Orchestra Version in Concert
    • Deborah Voigt, soprano
    • Glimmerglass Festival
    • Opera Saratoga – 2014, Performance of Act 1
    • Siegle Music Colony
    • Full production w/ 2 pianos and percussion
    • Darren Woods, Artistic Director
  • The Ghost of Gatsby a new chamber opera by Mack & Mcguire
    • Main characters are Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald
    • Samford University, Birmingham premiere
    • National Opera Association Finalist for Argento Award
    • Southern Utah University performing at the NOA conference in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Yelstin In Texas, a new comic opera by Mack & McGuire
    • Boris Teltsin visits a grocery store in Houston, Texas and it changes his worldview massively
    • Siegle Music Colony is developing the opera with them
    • Commissioned by Opera In the Heights, Texas Christian University and one other company
    • Death of Stalin, a movie
    • Chuck Norris vs Communism, a documentary
  • #IsOperaDead, an opera in 1 minute, 40 seconds may indeed have been the first Twitter Opera
  • Evan set the last paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling on Same Sex Marriage.
    • It was dedicated ot Darren Wood & Steve Bryant, and performed by Michael Mayes.
    • Tyler Simpson
  • Forever Wilde, a theatrical instrumental work
    • Showing the struggle between metal and wood, a guitar mob is part of the orchestration of this piece.

Looking Forward To:

  • Sharin
    • Will be performing Jenny in Three Penny Opera at Syracuse Opera
    • Looking forward to seeing Pelleas et Melisande at Met Opera
  • Evan
    • Opera America New Works Forum
    • The Falling and the Rising
      • Zach Redler, composer
      • Jerre Dye, librettist
  • Walker
    • Prototype Festival
  • Chuck
    • La Traviata & Adriana Lecouvreur at Metropolitan Opera
    • Mx Justin Vivian Bond’s Refrigerated at Joe’s Pub
    • Lifespan of a Fact starring, Cherry Jones, Bobby Canavale &
    • Daniel Radcliffe
    • Movies: Boy Erased, The Favourite, Ben Is Back, Beautiful Boy
      and Welcome to Marwen
  • Peter
    • Condolences to the family of Harold Farberman, Peter’s conducting teacher.

Credits: Sharin Apostolou, Walker Lewis, Chuck Sachs, Ben Young (Audio Engineer), Peter Szep (Editor)

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