University Opera presents World Premiere of opera on life, work, and loves of Jackson Pollock
In keeping with its commitment to produce newly-commissioned works, University Opera will present the World Premiere of Maura Bosch's "Art and Desire," an opera based on the life of Jackson Pollock. Sung in English, the opera will be given two performances-on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 22 at 3:00 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Carol Rennebohm Auditorium in Music Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
The University Opera commission, generously supported by the Dara Elizabeth Welty Memorial Fund, is part of the year-long celebration of William Farlow's 10th anniversary as UW-Madison's opera director. "I have been looking for an opportunity to commission a new work over the last few years, because I think it's imperative for schools of music to produce new works," said Farlow, "and the opportunity and the funding coincided to make it possible to do this opera as part of my 10th anniversary season."
Bosch's work is not new to Madison audiences; her "Mirabell's Book of Numbers" was presented by University Opera in 1993, with voice professor and University Opera Associate Director Mimmi Fulmer in the title role. Said Fulmer: "Maura and I have collaborated on projects since 1983, and our continuing musical friendship has been one of the central facets of my career. It has been a great honor to premiere her pieces, including roles in several operas. With "Art and Desire," we will once again have the opportunity to present an important new work of hers on our campus."
The opera depicts a fictional meeting between two artists-Pollock's wife, Lee Krasner, and his friend, Clement Greenberg-after his death. Bosch said the themes of Pollock's life "summon up so many feelings that I have about art, about its centrality to my life, the sacrifices that one is willing to make just to keep going, as well as the heartbreak when it becomes out of reach." The single scene, which crosses the boundaries of time, allows the opera's characters to "express their most important feelings about art and about life," added Bosch. "Even though they seem to be at complete odds with each other, they all have the same problem: they love art as much as they love life itself."
The production features students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, including Amanda Compton (Lee Krasner), Ryan Thorn (Clem Greenberg), Scott Johnson (Jackson Pollock), Ryan Patrick McEldowney (Bartender), Alyssa Butch (First Girl) and Emily Campbell (Second Girl). Conducting the UW Chamber Ensemble will be doctoral student Ching-Chun Lai.
Production staff includes costume designers Sydney Krieger and Hyewon Park, technical director Greg Silver, lighting designer Steven M. Peterson, set designer Angelina Paoli, rehearsal pianist Susan Goeres, and graphic designer Michael Patrick Williams.
Tickets are $10.00 for the general public, $9.00 for senior citizens and $5.00 for UW-Madison students, available in advance through the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office at (608) 262-2201, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Vilas Hall Box Office at (608) 262-1500, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and after 5:30 p.m. on University Theatre performance evenings. Because shows often sell out, advance purchase is recommended. If unsold tickets remain, they may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance. The Carol Rennebohm Auditorium is located in Music Hall, at the foot of Bascom Hill on Park Street.
University Opera is a cultural service of the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Its mission is to promote professional training and practical performing experience for student singers, conductors and pianists and, when possible, provide opportunities for student designers, actors and dancers. University Opera gratefully acknowledges the support of the Dara Elizabeth Welty Memorial Fund for commissioning this new work and for making this production possible. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lien at email@example.com or (650) 576-8969. Or visit the School of Music's web site at www.music.wisc.edu.
UNIVERSITY OPERA STAFF
William Farlow, Director
Mimmi Fulmer, Associate Director
James Smith, Music Director/Conductor
Bill Lutes, Vocal Coach and Musical Preparation
Susan Goeres, Chorus Master and Rehearsal Pianist
Justin Niehoff Smith, Production Coordinator
Jennifer Lien, Marketing/Operations Manager
Richard Mumford, Director of Public Relations and Concert Manager, School of Music