Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins – Opera (2014)
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Soloists: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone
Chorus: soprano, mezzo soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass
Ensemble: flute, oboe (d. English horn), clarinet (d. bass clarinet), bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, guitar (d. electric guitar), percussion, piano, harpsichord, violin, viola, cello, contrabass
Rock band: electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, drums.
Electronics: real time digital signal processing
Duration: est. 80 minutes
Libretto: Nick Flynn
In the opera, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, based on Nick Flynn’s play, four strangers meet on a New York City sidewalk during a blackout. Gideon finds himself locked out of his apartment, stranded on the street with nothing but a television and the company of three individuals, each mysterious in their own way: the specter-like Alice, ringleader of the neighborhood; Esra, a fifteen-year-old girl whose mother is MIA—again; and Ivan, a marooned businessman trying to make his way home. As Gideon futilely attempts to break into an apartment that may or may not be his, an unsettling connection between Ivan and Esra develops while Alice and Gideon look on helplessly. The four characters metaphorically represent different stereotypical groups in a post-apocalyptic society. Although they share a similar destiny, throughout the play each of them in his or her own unique way refuses to accept the other. Unable to make sense of their predicament, let alone alter it, they float aimlessly in and out of seeming reality only to find themselves even more lost when electricity comes back on. In their opera, exploring the tenuous membrane that separates comfortable everyday existence from the desperate margins of society, Barash and Flynn portray an urban dystopia unnervingly similar to our own world while poignantly tapping into the loneliness and peril of city life.
Preview Performances (Excerpts):
June 4, 2013, Turtle Bay Music School, NYC
May 18 & 19, 2014, American Opera Projects, Brooklyn, NY
September 12 & 14, 2014, American Opera Projects, Brooklyn, NY
November 12, 2015, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Samuel B. and David Rose Building, Lincoln Center, NYC
May 4, 2016, Fort Worth Opera Festival, Kahn Auditorium, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX
Performers: Stephen Carey, Trevor Martin, Anna Laurenzo, Maren Weinberger, Brian Wallin, Emily Hueske, Blake Jennings, Johnny Salvesen, Matthew Daddona
Performers: Dominic Armstrong, Charity Wicks, Deborah Lifton, Mila Henry, Jorell Williams, Kelly Horsted