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Subject: New opera in the works by Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter
From: Hagen Schmagen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Hagen Schmagen <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:21:52 -0400

text/plain (43 lines)

Excerpted from the article by David Patrick Stearns: 

Return visits (to Philadelphia) are expected now that sheís working with Opera Philadelphia 
as the librettist for a yet-to-be-titled stage work with music by jazz great Wayne Shorter.

DPS: Tell me about your work with Opera Philadelphia.

ES: Theyíre so hip, so forward-looking, just to hang with [president] David Devan and [new 
works administrator] Sarah Williams. The conversation was delightful and really expanded 
my psyche with the whole experience. This isnít officially announced, but weíre targeting the 
fall of 2019. Iíll be in Philadelphia for about a week this fall [for the 017 Festival]. Iím 
studying so much opera and how the voice works when itís communicating dialogue. We 
have enough time to really find a way to make our own way of using the voice, and to make 
that fit in the format of what people have done before. We get to work with ensembles and 
vocalists and will have time to try things out. If they donít work, weíll adjust.

DPS: Why did you chose the Euripides-based subject matter of Iphigenia in Aulis? Thatís 
where the warrior Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia as an offering to the gods 
amid the Trojan War.

ES: The reason the story is so compelling is because it feels so relevant to the challenges 
that we face now. How do we come up with new solutions in which human life isnít 
sacrificed for the sake of victory or a goal? These characters died thousands of years ago, if 
they ever really existed. And theyíre told thereís only one option. But nobody listened to 
Iphigenia. Sheís the passive protagonist of the story. But this time, sheís not passive. The 
deadline is the end of August. But Iím sure itíll change many times between the first 
delivery and opening night.

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