‘If I Were You’ addresses questions of identity, life and death
By Peter Alexander June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Jake Heggie, composer of the opera Dead Man Walking, and Gene Scheer, who wrote librettos for Heggie’s Moby Dick and It’s a Wonderful Life, are hard at work again.
Their latest project, an opera that addresses existential questions about identity, life and death, has brought them to Boulder and CU Eklund Opera’s New Operatic Workshop (CU NOW). Selected excerpts from the new work, If I Were You, will be presented to the public for free, performed by CU student singers. The Composer Fellows’ Initiative (CFI), a separate project of CU NOW will present four short operas by CU composition students: three 8-minute works and one 30-minute work.
CU NOW invites a composer and librettist every year to come to Boulder for a couple of weeks in June as they develop a new opera and work with student singers. The composers have the opportunity to hear portions of their own work and make changes as necessary before it’s complete. As part of his association with CU NOW, Heggie has also been working with the students whose works will be presented by the Composer Fellows’ Initiative.
If I Were You, as Heggie describes it, is “a modern-day Faust story” with an overlay of Gothic romance. “It’s about a disillusioned young man who wishes he could be anyone else,” he says. Heggie and Scheer will decide which portions of the opera to perform during the workshop. They will introduce the musical excerpts to the audience and explain the plot as they go along.
Read more in Boulder Weekly.
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CU New Opera Workshop festival (CU NOW)
Leigh Holman, director
Jeremy Reger, director of music
If I Were You (selected excerpts)
Libretto by Gene Scheer
Music by Jake Heggie
Adam Turner, guest conductor
7:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17
Music Theater, CU Imig Music Building
Composer Fellows’ Initiative (CU NOW—CFI)
Daniel Kellogg, managing director
Four short operas by student composers
Steven Aguillo, guest music director
Bud Coleman, stage director
7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16
ATLAS Blackbox, Roser ATLAS Center
Performances free and open to the public