Cincinnati Opera and CCM host workshop for ‘The Hours,’ commissioned by Metropolitan Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra

CCM and Cincinnati Opera are pleased to announce the next workshop in their groundbreaking joint program, Opera Fusion: New Works.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cincinnati partners are hosting the first workshop for the new opera The Hours, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts (Cincinnati Opera’s Silent Night, 2014) and librettist Greg Pierce (Cincinnati Opera’s Fellow Travelers, 2016). During this workshop, Puts and Pierce collaborate in real time with artists to shape and refine this work-in-progress, which is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Met will premiere the work in its 2022-23 season.

The Opera Fusion: New Works workshop for The Hours will culminate in a free, public livestream of performance excerpts on Monday, March 15, 2021, from 5-6 p.m., at The livestream also will feature a conversation about the creation of the work with Puts, Pierce, and Evans Mirageas, The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and co-artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works.

Opera Fusion: New Works is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Hours is a new opera based on the book by Michael Cunningham and the Paramount Pictures film. It tells the story of three women whose lives have a literary connection: Clarissa is a New York City book editor in the early 2000s, whose best friend, Richard, a celebrated poet dying of AIDS, nicknames her Mrs. Dalloway, after the heroine of the Virginia Woolf novel. Woolf also appears as a central character-in suburban London in 1923-as she struggles to write Mrs. Dalloway while battling suicidal thoughts. A third character, Laura, is a housewife in 1949 Los Angeles wrestling with depression and seeking escape by reading Mrs. Dalloway. Their three stories are elegantly interwoven, as parallels and echoes in their lives shed light on the eternal search for meaning, fulfillment, and connection, particularly for women constrained by societal roles and their own complicated desires and expectations.

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