A Rich, Musical Landscape
In January, Susan Kander’s opera The Giver successfully premiered at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In April, The Giver receives an encore by the Minnesota Opera with its own new production directed by Octavio Cardenas and conducted by Dale Kruse. Based on the award-winning Lois Lowry novel and featuring Kander’s own libretto, The Giver is part of Minnesota Opera’s “Project Opera”* which provides children and youth with hands-on experience in creating an opera, working with a living composer, and the opportunity to perform the opera in a fully-staged professional production.
“Nothing can spark a life-long passion for musical creation like the experience of working with a composer on a production written that you yourself will perform,” elaborates music director Dale Kruse. “Project Opera students are making the story of The Giver take shape in the rich, musical landscape crafted by Susan Kander in a way that reading it alone cannot. Let’s face it, the story is SO operatic.” Although written 20 years ago, The Giver is still relevant with its important themes of individuality, diversity, and hope in society. Performances take place from April 27th-29th, and Lowry will join Kander in pre-concert talks about bringing The Giverto life through music.
“It’s been thrilling for the Minnesota Opera as we prepare for The Giver,” adds Jamie Andrews, Minnesota Opera Community Education Director. “The kids have been working very hard on the music and are looking forward to actually meeting Susan Kander. They’ve also been involved in developing the piece itself*…We’re excited to produce a work that will reach audiences of all ages, many who will be seeing their first opera; and with the performances taking place in the Minnesota Opera Center, people will be able to see where opera comes alive in Minnesota.”
* More “Giver” details: In preparing for the premiere, “Project Opera” kids also developed their own media previews and fundraising efforts through kickstarter.com. Log on to The Giver link to view rehearsals, interviews, and learn more.