Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Randal Turner in world premiere of operatic Bonfire of the Vanities

Randal Turner
Randal Turner, who recently had a successful run as Ned Keene in Britten's Peter Grimes at the Theatre Koblenz, is now jumping into a completely different different English-language opera. He will portray Wall Street trader Sherman McCoy from Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, in a new operatic adaptation from composer Stefania de Kenessey and librettist Michael Bergmann.

The story takes on the universal socioeconomic tensions in 1980s New York City that is home to both Wall Street and Harlem. Turner's character is a successul bonds trader whose popularity propels him to the top of the financial world. But just as he meets the peak of his success, he collides with a scandal that brings all of New York City crashing down upon him. His former admirers and current problems include a ferocious Harlem reverend, played by fellow barihunk Keith Miller; a wealthy and sexually predatory femme fatale, sung by Yingzie Zhou; Sherman's cossetted housewife, sung by Anne-Carolyn Bird; and, an idealistic lawyer who demands better for her city, performed by Adrienne Danrich. 
Expect to see the gym-toned Turner show a little skin, because in Act 3 his character Sherman McCoy is in prison and the other prisoners know he is the one responsible for the hit and run that has put the young African-American kid Henry Lamb in a coma even though his mistress Maria Ruskin was driving and is thus far taking the rap for it. The prisoners strip him of his clothes and then Sherman sings his aria "Masters of the Universe."

The world premiere will be on October 9 and 10 at the El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio in New York City. Tickets are available online.

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