by Mike Telin
Last week the Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s Opera theatre presented four performances of American composer William Bolcom’s comic opera A Wedding. Bolcom was present for Wednesday’s opening performance as well as to give a talk on Friday about his career and his work in opera. A Wedding was preceded by McTeague, and A View from the Bridge. All three operas were commissioned by Chicago Lyric Opera.
On Thursday morning only minutes prior to an interview on WCPN’s “Around Noon” program, the composer and his long-time performance collaborator and wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, were beaming at the success of the previous night’s opening performance. “I am so pleased with the way it went”, Bolcom said with a smile. “The conductor had the perfect tempos, and that’s always a concern of mine.” Bolcom was soon ushered into the studio with “Around Noon” host Dee Perry, and the two had an engaging conversation about how A Wedding came to be and his about career as a composer and teacher. Although Ms. Morris must have heard these stories before, as well as living many of them, she listened attentively to the interview in the green room, smiling and nodding with affirmation as Bolcom and Perry conversed. “She’s very good” Bolcom said of Perry following the interview, “Very well prepared, and she asked good question.” [Read more…]