Press Release

World Premiere of New American Opera The Scarlet Letter will be Presented in 2016

Event Date: 
7 May 2016
Denver, CO

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Classic American Novel Set to Music by Composer Lori Laitman, With Libretto by Colorado Poet David Mason. Soprano Elizabeth Futral to Star as Hester Prynne. Director Beth Greenberg to Make her Opera Colorado Debut.

In May 2016, Opera Colorado will present the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter—a new adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s iconic American novel by composer Lori Laitman and librettist David Mason. The premiere marks yet another major milestone for Opera Colorado, which recently announced significant success following the launch of a careful restructuring campaign that addressed the Company’s economic uncertainties, ensured the continuation of its exceptional programming and educational initiatives, and established a strong foundation for future growth. The Scarlet Letter continues the Company’s commitment to presenting contemporary and rarely performed works in addition to classic opera repertoire.

“Opera Colorado is committed to presenting new American opera—from our co-production of John Adams’ Nixon in China in 2008, to the presentation of Daniel Catan’s Florencia En El Amazonas in 2012, and now with the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter in 2016,” stated General Director Greg Carpenter. “Lori Laitman and David Mason have created a truly American opera which speaks to social issues that are just as relevant today as they were over 160 years ago when Hawthorne first published his celebrated novel.”

Opera Colorado’s production of The Scarlet Letter will be the first professional staging of the opera, which was commissioned by The University of Central Arkansas in 2007 and performed by students and faculty in 2008. Subsequently, Laitman has updated the opera’s score, including expanding the choral writing, tightening up the dramaturgy and re-orchestrating the entire work.  Under the direction of Beth Greenberg, who is making her Opera Colorado debut, and with set design by Erhard Rom and costume design by Terese Wadden, Opera Colorado’s premiere of The Scarlet Letter will feature soprano Elizabeth Futral as Hester Prynne; baritone Malcolm MacKenzie as Roger Chillingworth; tenor Dominic Armstrong as Arthur Dimmesdale; mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak as Mistress Hibbons; baritone Daniel Belcher as Governor Bellingham; and tenor Kyle Erdos Knapp as John Wilson. 

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