Friday, February 21, 2014

Matt Worth to star in premiere of The Manchurian Candidate

Matt Worth to star in The Manchurian Candidate
Matt Worth, who is currently performing Starbuck in Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick with the Washington National Opera, will star in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' The Manchurian Candidate, the third commission of the Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative. This is second opera from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, who debuted Silent Night with the company, which was broadcast on PBS and is being revived at the Fort Worth Opera Festival this spring.

The opera is based on a 1959 novel by Richard Condon, which inspired two film adaptations. In the story, Major Ben Marco, Sergeant Raymond Shaw and the rest of their infantry platoon are kidnapped during the Korean War and brainwashed to believe that Shaw saved their lives in combat - for which Congress awards him the Medal of Honor. Years after the war, Marco begins having a recurring nightmare about Shaw murdering two of their men while under observation by Chinese and Soviet officials. When Marco learns that another soldier from the platoon also has been suffering the same nightmare, he determines to solve the mystery. They discover that the Communists have been using Shaw as a sleeper agent, a guiltless assassin subconsciously activated while playing solitaire to obey orders. Shaw's KGB handler is his mother Eleanor, a ruthless power broker working with the Communists to quietly overthrow the U.S. government and establish her husband, the McCarthy-esque Senator Johnny Iselin, as a puppet dictator.

 Matt Worth sings "A sermon about doubt" from Douglas Cuomo's Doubt:

Worth, who previously received rave reviews with the company as Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and as Father Flynn in the world premiere of Douglas Cuomo's Doubt, will take on the critical role of Sergeant Raymond Shaw. He'll be joined by soprano Brenda Harris as Eleanor Iselin and bass Daniel Sumegi as Senator Johnny Iselin.

soprano Brenda Harris (Macbeth and The Dream of Valentino, 2014) will sing the role of Eleanor Iselin opposite bass Daniel Sumegi (The Flying Dutchman, 2003) as Senator Johnny Iselin. Kevin Newbury (Doubt) directs and Music Director Michael Christie conducts this Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative production.
Performances will run from March 7-14, 2015

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