|Sir Gawain AND THE Green Knight|
|Temptation - Adventure - Sorcery - and SUSPENSE!|
A tale of personal honor and fatal temptation. A mysterious tale from the cycle of Arthurian legends. Spend seventy minutes in the company of Sir Gawain as his honor and integrity are tested to the limit.
|Director||Grethe Barrett Holby|
|Commissioner||Family Opera Initiative, American Opera Projects|
|Major Funding||The Jaffe Family Foundation and the Round Table Fellowship|
|Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Synopsis|
|The knights of
the King Arthur's Fellowship of the Round Table are celebrating the end
of the year when they are rudely interrupted by a monstrous green knight
who challenges them to a "game." Sir Gawain accepts the knight's
challenge and embarks on a series of strange adventures until he encounters
his most difficult challenge yet, which leads him to compromise the high
standards he has set for himself. He realizes that his hopes of attaining
perfection as a Knight of the Fellowship are gone forever. In the climax
of this mysterious and stirring tale, we learn how Sir Gawain's fateful
encounter with the Green Knight ends, and how he and the Fellowship of the
Round Table deal with the ethical dilemma of honor lost.
Our goal with Gawain was to make an opera that reached out to opera lovers and newcomers alike. I think we have succeeded.
"'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' is a lively introduction to both the Arthurian court and to opera."
|"A revelation - what's wonderful here is the meshing of opera and musical theater... Laughs, blood, beautiful music."|
-Orlando Sentinel Blog
Orlando Shakespeare Festival PlayFest, February 2006 (PlayFest
program); American Opera Projects & TADA! NYC, October-November
2001; Set Design Franco Colavecchia, Costume
Design Shelley Norton, Lighting Design Clifton
Taylor. (TADA program)
Development: Family Opera Initiative, American Opera Projects
Major Support from the Jaffe Family Foundation, TADA!, NY State Council for the Arts and the Round Table Fellowship
and especially musical theater and opera, for the middle-school age child
had become a special interest of mine. I feel that's when we have to grab
their imaginations and appeal to them viscerally, in order to give them
a life long love of the theater.
I had asked Composer Richard Peaslee for many years to write an opera for American Opera Projects. He would politely decline, saying he was a theater composer. Then one day, he called and said that he and his collaborator, the playwright Kenneth Cavander, had a theater piece entitled Tales of Arthur. They felt it might work better sung with a musical score, and wondered if I might be interested. Here was a subject close to my heart, and ripe for middle school! Naturally, the answer was "yes", and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, was born.
Grethe Barrett Holby
|Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Artist Bios|
(Composer) has written
extensively for the theatre in New York, London and Paris. In addition to
numerous scores for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres, he wrote
the music for the Peter Brook/Royal Shakespeare Company productions of The
Marat/Sade, A Midsummer Night's Dream, US and Antony and Cleopatra;
for Peter Hall and the National Theatre, he wrote the music for Animal
Farm; and for Terry Hands and the RSC, Tamburlaine the Great.
For Joseph Papp and the New York Shakespeare Festival he created scores
for Richard III, Henry IV, Troilus and Cressida and Antigone; with
Martha Clarke and Music Theatre Group, he wrote the music for The Garden
of Earthly Delights, Vienna Lusthaus, The Hunger Artist and Miracolo
d'Amore, produced by Joe Papp. Among his Broadway credits are scores
for Indians, Teibele and Her Demon, Frankenstein and
Boccaccio. He has also worked extensively with Joe Chaikin and The
Open Theatre. His musicals for family audiences include The Snow Queen
(NYS Theatre Institute), The Children's Crusade, Tanglewood Tales
and the opera, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Lincoln Center Institute,
Family Opera Initiative, American Opera Projects commissions). His latest
work, Moby-Dick, a music drama based on Melville's novel was recently
produced in London.
CAVANDER (Librettist) has been represented on and off Broadway,
and in regional theatres including Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Guthrie, Alley,
Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was a
founding director of the Williamstown Theatre Second Company. His plays
include Olympian Games (based on Ovid's Metamorphoses), Boccaccio,
Jelly's Last Jam, and new versions of Euripides' Women of Troy,
Moliere's Don Juan, and Euripides' Bacchae. For family audiences,
The Story of Aesop won first place in the 2000 Beverly Hills Theatre
Guild Awards. His play Agamemnon and Daughters, based on classical
tragedies by Euripides and Sophocles, opened at Arena Stage to great acclaim
(2001). His television dramas include The File on Jill Hatch for
PBS, and movies of the week for CBS and. NBC, The Question of God,
a two-part series aired on PBS in 2004, and a biography of C.S. Lewis,
aired in December 2005 on the Hallmark Channel.
GRETHE BARRETT HOLBY (Director) "Strong, fresh and unabashed,"* Holby has directed world premieres of new operas by by many leading composers of our day, including Eve Beglarian, Kitty Brazelton, Richard Peaslee, Vincent Persichetti, Lisa Bielawa, Connie Beckley, Joan La Barbara, Phil Kline, Vivian Fine, and Eric Salzman; choreographed premieres by composers Leonard Bernstein, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Lou Reed, and directed and choreographed for companies across the country, including Lincoln Center Festival, Kennedy Center, The York Theater, Symphony Space (NYC), and the opera companies of Washington, Los Angeles, Anchorage, Wolftrap, La Scala, Philadelphia, Lake George, North Carolina, Memphis, Indianapolis, Toledo, and Houston.
Holby's primary mission lies in originating, collaborating on, and directing new American opera, which began with her originating role in Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's groundbreaking Einstein on the Beach. She is the founder of American Opera Projects, running that company as Executive Artistic Director from 1988-2001. Founding Founding Family Opera Initiative in 1994, Holby is currently collaborating with composer Kitty Brazelton and the late George Plimpton on FOI's fourth opera entitled Animal Tales. She is collaborating with composer Eve Beglarian on The Man in the Black Suit (based on the story by Stephen King) for which Holby is also co-librettist (Rockefeller Bellagio Fellow 2006); and directing premieres by Eric Salzman and John Cage.
Educated as an architect at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BS, M.Arch), and opera direction at Houston Opera Studio, combined with her unique background in dance and choreography, Holby brings "her ferociously independent spirit to bear on her multifaceted work." *(The New York Times)
|Video clips are coming soon!|
|Set designer Kelly Hanson with director Grethe Holby|
2006 L to R
Evan Bryant (Gawain), Ashraf Sewailam (Green Knight), Thursday Farrar (Morgan LaFay), Richard Peaslee (Composer), Grethe Holby (Director), David Wolfson (Music director), Branch Fields (Merlin)
PlayFest 2006 L to