Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011
IU Opera Theater's ‘A View from the Bridge’ a glimpse into tragic desperation
A View from the Bridge, by William Bolcom, libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Arthur Miller. Based on Arthur Miller's play of the same name.
WHEN: Oct. 21-22 (Friday-Saturday) and Oct. 28-29 (Friday-Saturday) at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Musical Arts Center, 101 N. Jordan Ave., IU Bloomington campus
TICKETS: Purchase tickets at the Musical Arts Center box office Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., by phone at 812-855-7433 or purchase online at http://music.indiana.edu/opera. A discounted price, through the MAC box office, is available for all students who wish to attend. Bursar Billing: The MAC box office is able to handle on-site bursar billing for students. Please note: tickets billed to a bursar account must be purchased by 5:30 p.m.
VIDEO STREAMING: Oct. 21-22 only. Featuring live blogging by musicology students.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 13, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eddie Carbone has a problem. He likes his niece just a little too much.
Thus the inner struggle begins for the tragic protagonist in Indiana University Opera Theater's second production of the season, A View from the Bridge, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom. Based on Arthur Miller's "gripping tale" of the same name, the production takes the stage at the IU Jacobs School of Music's Musical Arts Center, Oct. 21-22 and 28-29.
In a revival of Bolcom's well-received 2005 collegiate premiere at IU Opera, Jacobs Professor Vincent Liotta will again assume stage-directing duties, with sets and costumes designed by Jacobs Professor Emeritus Robert O'Hearn. Watch a video interview with some of the cast members at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJSoM?feature=mhsn#p/f/0/3JHhNBHrIGc.
A View from the Bridge will mark conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos' third appearance with IU Opera Theater, following 2009's The Most Happy Fella and last season's Die Fledermaus. The conductor's experiences include opera and symphony, as well as musical theater.
"This work has a very eclectic score featuring all sorts of styles of music, including jazz, blues, traditional opera, 1950s rock 'n' roll and more," said Kitsopoulos. "Bolcom knew how to use different music for different situations to help illuminate the story and create a really gripping tale spun out in music and words that will more than hold the audience's attention."
The opera is set in a working-class Italian-American neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in 1950s New York City and focuses on Eddie's inability to deal with his taboo feelings toward and obsession with his niece, Catherine. As the story unfolds, the dockworker resorts to violence and, ultimately, the betrayal of his community, with disastrous personal consequences.
"The story is about the inability to face your own feelings, not so much about the forbidden love," said Liotta. "The main character is so unable to face what he feels that he makes all the wrong decisions."
"Eddie gets deeper and deeper into a situation he can't extract himself from," said Kitsopoulos. "He becomes threatened by Catherine's independent-mindedness, retreating more and more into his own head until he is unable to let her go. You might call it extreme separation anxiety."
Miller's interest in writing about the world of the New York docks originated with an unproduced screenplay that he developed with Elia Kazan in the early 1950s (The Hook) that addressed corruption on the Brooklyn docks. (Kazan would go on to direct On the Waterfront, which tackled the same subject.) Miller said that he heard the basic account that developed into the plot of A View from the Bridge from a longshoreman, who related it to him as a true story.
Bolcom, who won the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1988, is one of the country's most renowned composers. A View from the Bridge received its collegiate premiere in Bloomington in February 2005. IU Opera Theater also produced the collegiate premieres of Bolcom's McTeague and A Wedding, in 1996 and 2008, respectively.
"In writing A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller envisioned a modern version of Greek tragedy. Through the music of Bill Bolcom, which gives voice to the essential element of the chorus, A View from the Bridge, as a work of music theater, rises above being a compelling drama to being a masterpiece of what modern opera can achieve," said Liotta.
The Oct. 21-22 performances will be video-streamed live at http://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive, embellished by live blogging from IU Jacobs School of Music musicology students.
Visit the production website, with synopsis, program notes, photos and more at http://www.music.indiana.edu/operaballet/view.