AN OPERA IN THE FORM OF A MASS
Opera speaks Truth to Power. The Catholic Mass is the Original (and probably the best) Opera. Our plan is to overlay an adaptation of Mr. Rolf Hochhuth's trenchant, searing play over a celebration of the Mass. The musical structure will therefore be based on the organization of the Mass (with a large, mixed choir performing it) and the dramaturgical structure of the play will function "over" and "between" the Mass as it is sung in Latin, as recitatives over the Latin, and as arias (called Tropes in musicalizations) between Mass movements.
Since the Opera will take place in one setting, with asides for cutaway action and scenes, the Opera will be equally successful both in concert and fully-staged versions, rendering the Opera more viable, and therefore more easily produced.
composer / co-librettist
Daron Hagen has composed nine operas for national companies (Seattle Opera), regional companies (Madison Opera, Kentucky Opera), and college companies (Butler Opera Center, Austin; Moores Opera Center, Houston), and is currently working on two more: Orson, about the last hours of Orson Welles' life, for Fifth House in Chicago, and 9/10, an opera that takes place in a restaurant the night before 9/11, for the Phoenix Ensemble in New York City, to be staged in situ at a restaurant in Little Italy. He has co-written the treatments for all of his operas, and co-written the libretti with Barbara Grecki for two, A Woman in Morocco, and New York Stories.
Information about Hagen's oepras may be found here. A detailed biography of Hagen may be found here. A detailed timeline of his career may be found here. The links on this page lead to pages on the comprehensive website devoted to his work.
Barbara Grecki, is a writer, director, performer and teacher. She has co-written the libretti with Daron Hagen, for New York Stories, and A Woman In Morocco. Her collaboration on In Our Own Words, a theater performance piece of documented interviews ofthe 9/11 experience and Same Difference, follow-up interviews of the aftermath and interfaith outreach, has been presented at the United Nations, and theaters around the country. She was a finalist in the Empire Screen Writing Competition for Being Loved By You. She is a member of The Writers Guild.
About adapting The Deputy, Ms. Grecki writes: "Mr. Hochhuth's play has been, for me personally, a story about life choices. How desire for change can seduce us into the belief of false promises, justifying prejudice while seeking the highest spiritual path for rescue. Now more than ever, a climate of dangerous change is brewing, not a mild breeze but a bombastic wind in the role of power within government throughout the world. It is an unsettling time. In my country, where I have always believed truth and justice prevail, I am shaken by this tide of change. Is grace and common decency woven into the fabric of this change? I am not sure. I believe that art, good solid storytelling, music, will widen our journey for truth and preserve our humanity. ‘The Deputy’ is a profoundly powerful story for the present. A necessary story to be told for ‘our now’"