Bartlett Sher to Direct The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Opera | Playbill

Classic Arts News Bartlett Sher to Direct The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Opera

Originally slated to premiere at LA Opera, the work by Mason Bates will now premiere at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, before coming to the Met.

Bartlett Sher Chasi Annexy

Tony award-winning director Bartlett Sher will direct the world premiere of Mason Bates' The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay this fall, at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, with a student cast. The opera will then come to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2025-26 season.

The adaptation of Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-winning novel was originally supposed to have its world premiere at LA Opera, but that production was canceled due to financial concerns as the company continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was a very ambitious and therefore expensive project, and unfortunately in the current conditions, it wasn’t something that we can manage,” LA Opera CEO Christopher Koelsch told the AP.

Upon the cancellation of the LA production, the Metropolitan Opera, which co-commissioned the work, reached out to the Jacobs School of Music to schedule a new premiere there, so that the opera could have an out-of-town tryout before its Met premiere the following season. The opera will have four performances from November 15-22 at the Musical Arts Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

Although not the original plan, the Indiana University premiere of this, Bates' second opera, represents something of a homecoming for the composer, whose first opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, was co-commissioned by the Jacobs School of Music, and also received student performances there in 2018, conducted by Michael Christie. Christie is expected to return to conduct the premiere performances of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct in New York.

The Met's plans for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay were first announced in 2018, along with new works by Jeanine Tesori and Missy Mazzoli. The first of these commissions, Tesori's Grounded, will open the Met's 2024-25 season.

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