Thursday, January 23, 2014

Craig Verm to premiere mountain climbing opera in Dallas

Craig Verm
Barihunk Craig Verm will star in British composer Joby Talbot first opera, Everest, which will premiere at the Dallas Opera during the 2014/15 season. Verm is been a popular model in our Barihunks Charity Calendar whose career has been on a steady ascent the last few years. This role appears to be a major breakthrough for the Texas native, who has been a regular with the Pittsburgh Opera.

It's the fifth opera that the Dallas Opera has commissioned in recent years, which also includes  Tobias Picker's Thérèse Raquin, Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick, Jake Heggie's A Question of Light and Jake Heggie's Great Scott, which is scheduled to premiere in October 2015. (We're particularly excited about Great Scott, due to Jake Heggie's propensity to write baritone leading roles).

 Craig Verm and Sean Pannikar sing the Pearl Fishers duet:

Based on a harrowing 1996 expedition to summit the world’s tallest mountain peak.  Everest will blend documented facts and contemporary recollections of the transformative journey experienced by Everest survivors, with flights of the imagination designed to keep audience members transfixed in this harshly beautiful place at the top of the world. The story has been the subject of two films and at least five books to date. 

This project will mark composer Joby Talbot’s first foray into opera, after establishing himself as a significant composer of original works for the recording studio, stage and screen.  Among his best-known composition are the rapturously received ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011) commissioned by the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and the National Ballet of Canada, and original film and British television scores including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, based on the iconic science fiction of the late Douglas Adams, who also contributed the screenplay for the 2005 release.

"This assignment is extremely exciting for me- it is the merging of two great passions of mine: opera and mountaineering. I would never have guessed they would ever intersect on stage! I've sung arias on top of quite a few mountaintops in Colorado to many unsuspecting climbers and various marmots & chipmunks. Never thought I'd get to bring my own crampons and ice axe to an opera rehearsal!! Also the source material for the opera, Into thin Air, by Jon Krakauer, is one of my favorite books. I read it as soon as it came out in the late 90's, and it inspired me to become a backpacking and rock climbing guide during my college summers. "

1 comment:

  1. "A Question of Light" is a gorgeous song cycle, not an opera.