Middlemarch in Spring

Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 pm | Friday, March 24 at 2:00 pm

Composed by Allen Shearer, Libretto by Claudia Stevens

Named one of the top 10 operatic events of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and one of Encyclopedia Britannica’s most noteworthy new musical works of 2015.

Composer Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens deftly mined George Eliot’s novel for a sunny, ingratiating and altogether effective piece of musical theater.
— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

Does love get a second chance?

The 40th Season opens with the East Coast premiere of Middlemarch in Spring by composer Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens, a new chamber opera that asks the question: does love get a second chance? This lighthearted yet moving production brings George Eliot’s masterpiece Middlemarch to the operatic stage for the first time, and evokes an unforgettable spring in the English town of Middlemarch, one of passionate love and political upheaval. Its 2015 world premiere was singled out by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the top 10 operatic events of the year and by the Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the year’s most noteworthy new musical works.

This production features many members of the original cast, including renowned bass-baritone Philip Skinner, a veteran of several productions at the San Francisco and Metropolitan Operas, as the scholar Casaubon. This production is presented in collaboration with the Virginia Festival of the Book, which will be held from March 22 through 26.  As a special treat, ticket holders are invited to attend a lecture by librettist Stevens before the Thursday evening performance and by Rebecca Mead, writer at the New Yorker and author of My Life in Middlemarch, a personal account of the book’s importance on her life, before the Friday afternoon performance.

A fine adaptation of Middlemarch which is also a work of originality and charm. Musically and dramatically this is a moving and enjoyable work which gives a concentrated expression of more of George Eliot’s novel than one might think possible in a brief, two-act opera.
— Delia Da Sousa Correa (Open University, UK), Michael Halliwell, University of Sydney

In Collaboration With

Sponsored By

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Meet the Artists

Conductor  Douglas Kinney Frost

Stage Director  Andrea Dorf McGray

Director of Production & Scenic Designer  Adam Liston

Costume Designer  Adalia Vera Tonneyck

Hair and Makeup Designer  Karman Boisset


Listen to Kevin O'Halloran and Michelle Krisel talk Middlemarch on NewsRadio WINA!   CLICK HERE!

Listen to Kevin O'Halloran and Michelle Krisel talk Middlemarch on NewsRadio WINA!   CLICK HERE!