by Mike Telin
Steeped in desire, passion, and deceit, it’s no wonder that Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire eventually found its place on the opera stage. On Friday, December 4 at 7:30 pm in Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland Opera Theater will present the Ohio premiere of composer André Previn’s and librettist Philip Littell’s 1995 opera based on Williams’ iconic play. The production will be repeated on Sunday, December 6 at 3:00 pm. (Left, Previn conducting the L.A. Philharmonic in 1986).
COT’s artistic director Scott Skiba recalled his first experience with the work, which was premiered at San Francisco Opera in 1998. “I remember sitting in the Oberlin Conservatory library watching it on a LaserDisc,” he told me over breakfast at a popular Ohio City café. “At first I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but nevertheless I found it interesting.”
The idea of producing Streetcar has been in discussion at COT for a few years, but when a reduction of the orchestra score was completed, taking the number of players down from 70 to 40, it suddenly became realistic to mount a production. [Read more…]