Sunday, September 10, 2023

FRANKENSTEIN - Arizona Opera - October 13-22, 2023

 (World Premiere) Gregg Kallor, Composer and Librettist
Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley

Phoenix: October 13-15, 2023 – Herberger Theater Center
Tucson: October 21-22, 2023 – The Temple of Music and Art

Arizona Opera’s eagerly awaited third World Premiere, based on Mary Shelley’s iconic novel by the same name, comes to the stage to open the 2023/24 Season in the McDougall RED Series.
With a riveting, cinematic score and libretto by Gregg Kallor, the living, feeling Creature is brought to life only to be forsaken by its creator, Victor Frankenstein. Embracing Shelley’s original text—regarded by many as the first science fiction novel—Frankenstein gives poignant voice to The Creature’s struggle and lays bare the horror of alienation and “otherness” with exquisite nuance. At the core of this heartbreaking tale lies a passionately wrought plea to look deeper within ourselves to find
commonality and uphold our responsibility to one another.

Frankenstein will mark Arizona Opera’s third World Premiere, following the successes of Riders of the Purple Sage and The Copper Queen, the latter of which was released in fall 2021 as a feature-length film. The Creature will be played by Grammy Award-winning baritone Edward Parks. Parks made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2009/10 Season and has maintained his artistic relationship there in subsequent seasons. Parks won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording as Steve Jobs in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and has earned recent acclaim as Jack Torrance in the operatic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining. Parks is hailed by The New York Times as having a “...robust, earthy voice.” Recent career highlights include a mix of traditional and contemporary repertoire, including performances of Steve Jobs in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with Santa Fe Opera, the Count in The Marriage of Figaro with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Audebert in Silent Night at Minnesota Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival in Japan and Atlanta Opera, and Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Portland Opera, and Opera San Antonio.

GREGG KALLOR Composer and Librettist
TERRENCE CHIN-LOY Victor Frankenstein
KATHERINE BECK Elizabeth Lavenza / Woman 2
MELISSA SOLOMON Agatha / Woman 1
BRETTA GERECKE Set, Costume, and Projection Designer
TLÁLOC LOPEZ-WATERMANN Lighting Designer and Video/Media Implementation

American tenor Terrence Chin-Loy returns to Arizona Opera to play the role of Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein. Chin-Loy's “beautiful lyric tenor voice” (Opera News) pairs passionate performance with a full, sweet sound. In the 2020/21 Season, Chin-Loy sang a series of concerts with Arizona Opera as a Resident Artist of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio as well as joined the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Twin Stars, a piece by Daniel Bernard Roumain about the shooting of Philando Castile. Chin-Loy returned to Arizona Opera in the 2021 for his second and final season as a Pullin Opera Studio artist where he performed Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music and Ferrando in Così fan tutte. In the 2022/23 Season, Chin-Loy's roles included Tamino in The Magic Flute with the National Taichung Theater in Taiwan and at Arizona Opera, Don José in Carmen with MasterVoices at Lincoln Center, Old Head 2 and Charlie in the World Premiere of Factotum with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Acis in Acis and Galatea with Eugene Opera, and joined the roster of Metropolitan Opera to cover the role of Arbace in Idomeneo.

The role of Elizabeth will be played by mezzo soprano Katherine Beck. Hailed by the Boston Globe as “balmy-voiced” and for her “uniformly excellent” performances, Beck was seen previously at Arizona Opera for Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Metropolitan Opera for its production of Akhnaten. This season, Beck returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she was a member of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center from 2020-2022, to cover Isolier in Le comte Ory. She is an alumna of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio and has previously sung Cherubino in Lenozze di Figaro, Mary Johnson in Spears’ Fellow Travelers, Flora in La traviata, Madeleine Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night, and Catherine Wright in Hagen’s Shining Brow with the company. Beck made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Karolka in Jenufa while an Apprentice Artist and sang her first performances of Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

Clinton Smith returns to Arizona Opera to conduct the World Premiere of Frankenstein after conducting its orchestral workshop in the 2022/23 Season. Previous engagements include conducting Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the inaugural season of Arizona Opera’s McDougall RED Series. Smith’s 2022/23 Season included a return to Dayton Opera to conduct Charlie Parker’s Yardbird with the Dayton Philharmonic and conducting members of the Atlanta Symphony at St. Luke’s Episcopal
Church for their annual presentation of Messiah. On the orchestral stage, Smith made his guest conducting debut with the Georgia Philharmonic, leading two subscription concerts. Smith recently concluded a collective nine years as Music and Artistic Director of both Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers and the St. Cloud Symphony, conducting over 60 orchestral, oratorio, chamber, pops, educational, and holiday concert performances.

Leading the production of the World Premiere of Frankenstein and making her Arizona Opera debut will be New York-based Stage Director Sarah Ina Meyers. On the directing staff of Metropolitan Opera since 2006, Meyers’ directorial work has brought her to companies across the United States, including Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, and San Francisco Opera. In 2018, Meyers directed the premiere presentation of Kallor’s Dramatic Sketches from Frankenstein as part of the new performance series The Angel’s Share at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. It was at this performance that Arizona Opera President and General Director Joseph Specter first experienced Gregg Kallor’s work and determined that the company should pursue it further.
Operawire described the New York performance as “riveting … an extraordinary experience” and Limelight extolled Meyers’s direction as “perfectly finessed…. powerful and meticulous.”

Cori Ellison serves as Dramaturg for Frankenstein, having formerly worked with Arizona Opera as dramaturg for its most recent world premiere, The Copper Queen. Ellison is a prominent figure in the opera world, having worked as a Dramaturg at various prestigious venues such as Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and New York City Opera. Ellison is deeply involved in contemporary opera, having been part of the Composer Librettist Development Program at American Lyric Theater.
Ellison has contributed to the development of new operatic works for several companies, including Glyndebourne, Icelandic Opera, Canadian Opera, and more. Additionally, Ellison teaches at The Juilliard School and leads Opera Lab, a practical training program. Ellison is also involved in coaching and judging various vocal competitions and has written for The New York Times, among other accomplishments.
Bretta Gerecke will serve as Sets, Costumes, & Projection Designer for Frankenstein. Gerecke is a lighting, set, costume, and projection designer for theatre, circus, opera, film, and installation art. She is the resident designer at Catalyst Theatre in Canada. Gerecke also designs for Cirque du Soleil, the RSC, the National Arts Centre in Ontario, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, among many others. She is the recipient of over 25 awards. Gerecke represented Canada in Prague at the Scenography
Quadrennial and her costume designs have been exhibited in Moscow, Beijing, and Taipei. Recent designs include Richard II (Stratford Festival), Stabat Mater (Edmonton Opera), The Invisible (Catalyst Theatre), and American (tele)visions (New York Theatre Workshop).

Tláloc Lopez-Watermann will serve as Lighting Designer & Video/Media Implementation for Frankenstein. Lopez-Watermann’s designs have been seen at In-Series, Salisbury University, Opera Omaha, Alabama University, Opera Columbus, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Lakes Area Festival, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, The Castleton Festival, Tri-Cities Opera, North Carolina Opera, Toledo Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Roanoke, Amarillo Opera, Guerrilla Opera (Boston), Crested Butte Music Festival, DiCapo Opera (New York City), Brevard Music Festival, and many others. Lopez-Watermann is the owner of Light Conversations LLC, and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in design from NYU/Tisch. Lopez-Watermann was the 2002 Allen Lee Hughes Lighting Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit

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