February 15, 2010

Nico Muhly Writes His First Opera for Met and Lincoln Center, Kitchen Gigs Coming Up

Late last week, the New York Times ran an article on Nico Muhly's new opera, written in collaboration with Craig Lucas for the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center's first joint commissioning project. Describing the commissioning program, the performance time line, and a brief plot synopsis, the article provides a good overview for Nico's latest project:

The work will make its debut in June 2011 at the English National Opera, which will share in the production’s cost with the Met. It will come to the Met for the 2013-14 season. It will be the fourth time that the Met and the English National Opera have co-produced a show since Mr. Gelb took over, in a system that has essentially turned London into an out-of-town tryout locale for the Met.

The opera is the first for Mr. Muhly, 28, an increasingly prominent, productive composer who has a long association with Philip Glass. He was a late addition to the joint commissioning project. A dozen composer-librettist teams were formed to create pieces that could then be steered toward the Vivian Beaumont stage at Lincoln Center Theater or the Met, depending on whether they were more musical-like or more operatic. Each team was offered a $50,000 commission. "It's somewhat ironic that he's last in and first out," Mr. Gelb said of Mr. Muhly. "He was very quick. He had a very strong idea."

A rough draft of the opera is complete, Mr. Gelb said, and will be fine-tuned in further workshops. It was inspired by a story in Britain in the late 1990s involving a 14-year-old boy who took on the identities of women on the Internet in the hopes of luring someone into killing him. The murder was never carried out.

While the opportunity to see Nico's opera is a few years away, one can catch Muhly and Doveman during their two-night stand at Manhattan's The Kitchen in mid-March. Titled "Doveman and Peter Pears: An Evening with Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly," the events will feature songs from Doveman's latest release, The Conformist, as well as songs by Peter Pears, Muhly and Bartlett's duo project. Tickets are on sale now for the reasonable sum of $15. Be there or be square.

More about Nico Muhly | More news stories for Nico Muhly