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 is an award-winning composer, librettist, stage director, conductor, collaborative pianist, and essayist. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Academy Award for “the artist who has achieved his singular voice.” His music is performed worldwide—from the Ullens Center in Beijing to the Louvre in Paris, the South Bank in London to Lincoln Center in New York City, from Suntory Hall in Tokyo to McCaw Hall in Seattle. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Opera, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others, his catalogue includes nine operas, five symphonies, twelve concerti, dozens of instrumental works, and over 300 art songs and cycles. A member of the Artist Faculty at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts and Chair of the Composition Faculty of the Wintergreen Music Festival and Academy, he has taught at Bard College, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Princeton Atelier. He has served as president of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and artistic director of the Seasons Music Festival Academy in Washington, conducted the cast recordings of several of his operas, and stage directed the premieres of others. Twice a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at Bellagio, he has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize, the ASCAP-Nissim, Barlow Endowment, and Columbia University Bearns Prize. A Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo, he is a graduate of Curtis and Juilliard, and now lives in Rhinebeck, New York with his wife and two sons.
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’"