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Contents The Minnesota Opera Staff and Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Notes from the Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 The Grapes of Wrath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Cast and Creative Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Background Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Artists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Minnesota Opera Chorus and Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Education at the Opera. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 The Minnesota Opera Annual Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Coming up: LakmĂŠ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Opera at the Ordway Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Young Professionals Group Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

The Minnesota Opera President & CEO Artistic Director Chair, Board of Directors

Kevin Smith Dale Johnson J. A. Blanchard, III

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February 2007

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President & CEO Kevin Smith Artistic Director Dale Johnson Welcome to today’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. For more than four decades, The Minnesota Opera has enriched the cultural life of our community by producing outstanding and innovative operas that inspire and entertain. U.S. Bank is honored to sponsor the 2006 – 2007 season. We are proud of our 20+ year relationship with The Minnesota Opera and the spectacular Ordway in St. Paul. At U.S. Bank, we support great dreams, great art and great arts organizations. They enrich the community with vibrancy, creativity and excellence. As the sixth largest bank in America today, U.S. Bank is the only major bank headquartered in Minnesota, and we’re deeply committed to giving back to this community. Thank you for coming and enjoy the performance!

Rod Boren, Senior Vice President, Personal Trust Regional Manager, U.S. Bank Private Client Group Jose Peris, Senior Vice President, Private Banking Regional Manager, U.S. Bank Private Client Group and Minnesota Opera Board Member



Artistic Administrator . . . .Roxanne Stou∂er Cruz Artistic Associate . . . . . . . . Floyd Anderson Community Education Director . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Andrews Dramaturg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Sander Conductor-in-residence . . . . . .Robert Wood Resident Artists . . . . . . . . . .Kyle Albertson, Alison Bates, Andrea Coleman, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Joshua Kohl, Bryan Lemke, Kelly Markgraf, Cortez Mitchell, Edward Mout, Bill Murray, Nili Riemer, Eric Schnobrick, Hugo Vera RAP Faculty . . . . .Allysum Tai Chi Center, Nancy Boler, Claude Corbeil, Carlotta Dradi-Bower, Barbara Kierig, Peter Robinson Master Coach . . . . . . . . .Mary Jo Gothmann Librarian . . . . . . . . . . . .Griffin Woodworth Teaching Artist . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lisa Butcher Project Opera Apprentices . . . . . .Setara Barukzoy, Celeste Johnson, Siri Jorstad, Kaitlin Very Project Opera Music Director . . . Dale Kruse Project Opera Accompanist . . .Kathy Kraulik Apprentice Acting Coach . .Doug Scholz-Carlson

Technical Director . . . . . Mike McQuiston Asst. Technical Director & Lighting Coordinator . . . Marc D. Johnson Assistant Lighting Designer. . Timothy Cryan Properties Master . . Stanley Dean Hawthorne Properties Assistant . . . . . . . . . Mike Long Properties Specialist . . . . . . . . Marc Scamp Production Carpenter . . . . . . . . . JC Amel Scene Shop Foreman . . . . . . . . . . Rod Aird Master Carpenter . . . . . . . . . .Steven Rovie Carpenters . . Levi Houkom, James Tresbesch, Joshua Tyler, Eric Veldey Charge Painter . . . . . . . . Kevin Noteboom Scenic Artists. . . . . . . Sergey Dzyubanyuk, Lynn Isaacson, Shannon McElree, Sreekishen S. Nair Video Programmer/Assistant. . Zachary Borovay

Production Production Director . . . . . . . Kevin Ramach Production Stage Manager . . . . . Alex Farino Assistant Stage Managers . . . . .Casey Martin, Angie Spencer Production Admin Asst. . Katherine Cattrysse

Administration Finance Director . . . . . . . . . . . . Je∂ Couture Operations/Systems Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Mittelholtz HR/Accounting Manager . . . . Jennifer Thill Executive Assistant . . . . . . . Theresa Murray Finance Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Libby Dye IT Applications Specialist . . . . . .Jessica Wright

Institutional Advancement Vice President of Institutional Advancement . . . . . . . . . . .Patrick Dewane Institutional Advancement Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kelly Clemens

Costumes Costume Shop Manager . . . .Erica M. Burds Assistant Costume Shop Manager . .Beth Sanders Assistant Costume Designer . . .Rebecca Ballas Drapers . . . . . . . . .Chris Bur, Yancey Thrift, Angela Yarbrough Costume Technicians . . . .Helen Ammann, Sarah Bahr, Jennifer Dawson, Mary Farrell, Amy McClure, Rose Ryan, Dana Shepard Painter/Dyer . . . . . . . . . . . . Marliss Jensen Assistant Painter/Dyer. . . . Kathleen Sullivan Prosthetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Crist Ballas Custom Suits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Chang Wig/Makeup Designer . . . . . . .Tom Watson Wig/Makeup Assistants . . . . . . . . . . Mary Farrell, Emily Rosenmeier, Ashley Ryan, Nina Stewart



Development Director of the Annual Fund . . . .Dawn Loven Corporate and Government Gifts Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Johnson Institutional Gifts Associate/Gala Coordinator Emily Skoblik Individual Gifts Associate . . . .Megan Stevenson

Marketing/Communications Marketing Director . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carl Lee Communications Director . . . . . Lani Willis Audience Development Associate . . Jamie Nieman Ticket O∑ce Manager . . . Katherine Castille Customer Relations Associate . Robert Schmidt Ticket O∑ce Assistants . .Alexandrea Kouame, Kendra Ramthun, Bri Whitcraft, Max Wirsing



The following volunteers contribute their time and talent in support of key activities of The Minnesota Opera.


Catherine Ahern Ann Albertson Gerald Benson Jim Brownback* Sue Brownback Sarah Burman Christine Buss Jerry Cassidy Diane Choih Joann Cierniak Susan Cogger Caroline Coopersmith Beverly Dailey* Denis Dailey Jeanette Daun Timothy Davis Lee Drawert Judith Duncan Sally Economon Svea Forsberg Christopher Foster Hazel Francois Li-Jun Fu Jane Fuller Joan Gacki* Alex Garay

Christine A. Garner* Juhi Gupta-Gulati Mark Gustin Mary E. Hagen Mark Hahn Lucinda Hallet Merle J. Hanson John Harris* Cari Beth Head Anne Hesselroth Heather Huber Alisandra Johnson Karen Johnson Nancy Johnson Steve Johnson Jeannie Johnston Kristen Johnston Robin Keck Dawn Klassen Shannon Klonecki Eleanore Kolar Lucinda Lamont Shirley Larson Mathilda Lien Jerry Lillquist Joyce Lillquist

Maura LoMonico Abby Marier Margery Martin Joan Masuck Yasuko Matsumoto Mary McDiarmid* Beth McGuire Verne Melberg Jeanette Middleton Irma Monson Barbara Moore Doug Myhra Denise Nichols Pam Nielsen David Nifoussi Candyce Osterkamp Dan Panshin Pat Panshin Megan Pelka Holly Peterson Bill Phillips Sydney Phillips Julia Porter Carol Purvis Kathleen Riley Shannon Robinson

Leigh Roethke John Rosse Emma Rotilie Enrique Rotstein John Sauer Lynette Saucier Michael Silhavy Wendy Silhavy Angie Solomon Wendi Sott Naomi St. Gregory Karen St. John Katie Steerman Harry Swepston Dave Terwilliger Emily Thompson Doris Unger Stacey Vonderhear Carolyn Wahtera Mary Weitz Barbara Willis* Elizabeth Cutter Wilson Kathie Wojtkiewicz Eve Yang *Lead volunteer



Artistic Director Welcome to this long-awaited world premiere.

More than a decade ago, after working with director Eric Simonson on our last commissioned opera, Bok Choy Variations, I started to look for a topic for a new commission. I felt we were in need of operas that speak to us as a people right now the way Mozart’s and Verdi’s operas spoke to the audiences of their times. I looked to Aida as a model. Aida’s intimate story of three central characters is told in a broader social context. When I reread The Grapes of Wrath, I knew it could be an opera. The Joad family story is told in an epic context – the mass migration of tenant farmers from the ruined lands of the Dust Bowl to the harsh reality of a California’s corporate agriculture. Steinbeck’s 75-year-old portrayal of Dust Bowl-era disenfranchisement, FROM THE


homelessness and corporate indifference rings sadly true in today’s world. As in the 1930s, there is displacement of whole populations caused by natural, economic and political disasters. We only have to look at Hurricane Katrina’s refugees to know this is still a relevant American story. To tell this story, we assembled a talented creative team of American artists: Academy Award-winning director Eric Simonson, the distinctly American composer Ricky Ian Gordon and the talented wordsmith and theater man, Michael Korie. Together, they have created a powerful opera that we think will resonate in the hearts of everyone who still seeks the American Dream. I hope you enjoy America’s newest opera, The Grapes of Wrath.

Dale Johnson, Artistic Director

President Welcome to The Grapes of Wrath.

The opera industry, like any successful business, needs to invest in the creation of new product. This is one reason why The Minnesota Opera regularly introduces new and unfamiliar works to our audience. Yet commissioning an opera is no small feat, and the raising of this commission – with its 18 principals, a cast of 50 and 60 musicians in the pit – has certainly taken a village. There are many generous sponsors to thank, and I invite you to read the acknowledgments on page 10 of this program. Without the major support of national presenting sponsor Ameriprise Financial, The Grapes of Wrath would

simply not be possible. The Minnesota Opera could not have initiated this project without the support of longtime friends Ruth and John Huss, who provided the “start-up capital” for the commission. Nor could we have done it alone, and we are grateful for the forward vision of Anne Ewers and Utah Symphony & Opera for coming on as a co-commissioner from the moment we had secured the music rights to The Grapes of Wrath. Utah Symphony & Opera, along with coproducers Pittsburgh Opera and Houston Grand Opera, are essentially the venture capitalists. We’d also like to salute The National Endowment for the Arts and OPERA America for their support of this project and for their leadership role in creating a thriving American opera industry.

Officers J. A. Blanchard III, Chair Jane M. Confer, Vice Chair Ruth S. Huss, Secretary Denver Gilliand, Treasurer Kevin Smith, President & CEO Directors Martha Goldberg Aronson Susan S. Boren Kathleen Callahan Nicky B. Carpenter Richard P. Carroll Rachelle D. Chase Susan J. Crockett Mary A. Dearing Sara Donaldson Chip Emery Thomas Foley Steve Fox Sharon Hawkins Karen L. Himle Heinz F. Hutter Philip Isaacson

Lucy Rosenberry Jones Michael F. Kelly, Jr. B. John Lindahl Lynne E. Looney Diana E. Murphy Brian E. Palmer Debra Paterson Jose Peris Mary Ingebrand Pohlad Stephanie J. Prem Elizabeth Redleaf Connie Remele Stephanie Simon Mitchell Stover Virginia Stringer H. Bernt von Ohlen

Directors Emeriti Karen Bachman Burton Cohen Julia W. Dayton Mary W. Vaughan Honorary Directors Dominick Argento Philip Brunelle Elizabeth Close Dolly Fiterman Charles C. Fullmer Norton M. Hintz Liz Kochiras Patricia H. Sheppard Legal Counsel James A. Rubenstein, Moss & Barnett

Kevin Smith, President and CEO





March 24, 25, 28, 30, 31 & April 1

Adult tickets begin at $25. Senior & student discounts available.

Music: Kurt Weill Words: Maxwell Anderson Conductor: Steve Stucki Join us for an unforgettable performance at the newly renovated Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis. Based on Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country, Weill’s musical jarred Broadway in 1949 with its indictment of apartheid. Kenneth Overton stars as Stephen Kumalo, the South African minister who must choose between the convictions of his faith and his son’s life. You’ll be caught up in a compassionate story of family tragedy, the power of faith and the promise of reconciliation.

Also from Skylark Opera:* February 16 only: Gala Benefit Dinner and Concert Starting June 9: Sigmund Romberg’s The Student Prince Fall 2007: Twin Cities premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town

Kenneth Overton

* formerly North Star Opera



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Production Sponsors Ruth and John Huss The Shen Family Foundation The Carlyle Fund The Seaver Institute • National Endowment for the Arts • OPERA America’s Opera Fund • BNSF Foundation • Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation • St. Paul Travelers • Nordstrom

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Music by Ricky Ian Gordon Libretto by Michael Korie Based on the novel by John Steinbeck Original stage direction and dramaturgy by Eric Simonson Orchestrations by Ricky Ian Gordon and Bruce Coughlin Co-commissioned by The Minnesota Opera and Utah Symphony & Opera World premiere February 10, 13, 15, 17 and 18, 2007 Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Sung in English with English captions


Conductor..................................................Grant Gershon Stage Director ............................................Eric Simonson Choreographer..............................................Doug Varone Set Designer ................................................Allen Moyer Costume Designer ....................................Kärin Kopischke Lighting Designer ......................................Robert Wierzel Video Designer ................................Wendall K. Harrington Sound Designer ......................................C. Andrew Mayer Wig Master and Makeup ..................Tom Watson & Associates Assistant Director ..............................Doug Scholz-Carlson Assistant Choreographer ......................Heidi Spesard-Noble Children’s Chorusmaster..................................Janice Kimes Dialect Coach ..............................................Elisa Carlson Production Stage Manager ........................Alexander Farino Flying Sequences ........................................Flying by Foy

Tom Joad, a released prisoner ......................Brian Leerhuber Ma Joad, family matriarch..............................Deanne Meek Rosasharn, Tom’s pregnant sister......................Kelly Kaduce Jim Casy, a lapsed preacher ......................Roger Honeywell Pa Joad, a tenant farmer ............................Peter Halverson Uncle John, Pa’s brother ..................................Robert Orth Granma, Pa and John’s mother ........................Rosalind Elias Grampa, her husband ....................................Dan Dressen Connie Rivers, Rosasharn’s husband ..............Jesse Blumberg Noah, Tom’s slow-witted brother ..............Andrew Wilkowske Al, his younger brother ....................................Joshua Kohl Ruthie, their younger sister ......................Maeve Moynihan Winfield, their youngest brother ..................Henry Bushnell Featured ensemble................................Theodore Chletsos; ........................................Anna Jablonski; Kelly Markgraf; ......................................Gregory Pearson; Karin Wolverton

Setting: Oklahoma, Southwestern America and California in the mid 1930s The composer dedicates this score to Kevin Doyle.

The Grapes of Wrath is sponsored by

, national presenting sponsor.

Additional support provided by the National Endowment of the Arts, Opera America and BNSF Foundation.

The Grapes of Wrath is a coproduction with Utah Symphony & Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. The appearances of Kelly Kaduce, winner; Theodore Chletsos, national semifinalist; Anna Jablonski and Andrew Wilkowske, regional finalists; and Jesse Blumberg and Joshua Kohl, district finalists of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, are made possible through a Minnesota Opera Endowment Fund established for Artist Enhancement by Barbara White Bemis. Performances of The Grapes of Wrath are being taped for delayed broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio, KSJN 99.5 in the Twin Cities.

The 2006–2007 Season Preview Recording is made possible, in part, with the assistance of Universal Music. The Minnesota Opera season is sponsored by FAF Advisors and U.S. Bank. The appearances of the 2006–2007 season conductors are underwritten by SpencerStuart. Opera Insights is sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. Camerta Dinners and Meet the Artists events are sponsored by Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management.


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck © 1939; renewed 1967 by John Steinbeck; permission granted by McIntosh and Otis, Inc.




by David Sander



ohn Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath was first published in 1939, and then quickly made into a major motion picture the following year. The reception was mixed – many sniffed Communism in the author’s harsh critique of big business versus organized labor. Others perceived the book’s startling ending vulgar and a bit too risqué for the times (and it was discreetly omitted for the more pristine and considerably cheerier movie version). Nonetheless, the book held its place as a bestseller, and the film earned an Academy Award nomination for best picture. Along with other famous works devoted to social change, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, the novel has earned its place in the pantheon of American literature and paved the way to a notable lifetime achievement award, the Nobel Prize, which the author received in 1962. Steinbeck (1902 – 1968) was a resident of California during the 1930s and witnessed first hand the plight of migrant laborers and their clash with corporate agriculture as well as the rampant disease, abject filth and desperate poverty in which the workers were forced to live. Throughout the decade, several hundred thousand “Okies” and “Arkies” descended upon the San Joaquin Valley, invited by the promise of the harvest, but were then exploited by greedy farmers and never really welcomed by the local citizens. The ill-timing of the Great Depression with the Dust Bowl had been calamitous for plains states residents. They were hardly experienced in a region not especially suited to farming, having only been living there for a couple generations. Unfamiliar with the periodic dry spells, crop rotation and the need for wind breaks, the voracious croppers cut down nearly every tree in favor of acquiring more arable land. When the drought finally came in the early 30s, there was nothing to keep the fatigued topsoil from blowing away. And blow it did. The dust was pervasive. In a moment’s notice it could blacken the sun and suffocate any living creature. Staying indoors didn’t help much – the particles easily seeped through the cracks, and children in particular fell victim to “black pneumonia”

as their lungs filled with dirt. Farmers already financially stricken by the Depression found little federal assistance, as the government had been bled dry by economic blight in all corners of the nation. As crops continually failed, banks foreclosed on life-sustaining loans. Horse-andmule-replacing tractors overran houses, and families were displaced, many lured westward by the need of sheer survival. As migrants soon discovered, there was far less labor needed than was advertised, thereby keeping wages extremely low, food in short supply and living conditions poor. Horrific disease-ridden, temporary settlements known as “Hoovervilles” (sardonically titled after the Depressionera president) and “Little Oklahomas” became the only place to eke out an existence until cleaner sanitary government camps came into existence. Ironically, only a handful of these relative oases were ever constructed. Though intended to raise social conscience, The Grapes of Wrath went into print just as the crisis was about to end – with the dark cloud of world conflict nearing, many migrants found solid jobs in city-based shipyards and military supply or by conscription into the armed forces. Steinbeck co-dedicated his novel to one of the first government camp managers, Tom Collins, to whom he owed much of his research for The Grapes of Wrath, including working side-by-side with migrant workers (as an homage Collins appears in the novel as the benevolent Jim Rawley). As a one-time investigative journalist for the San Francisco News, the author was commissioned to write a series of articles, published October 5–12, 1936, citing ghastly conditions that Grapes barely grazes. Steinbeck’s examination was compiled in a short work, The Harvest Gypsies (with photography by Dorothea Lange), observations he would later summarize: “During the migration of thousands of dispossessed families … I saw people starve to death. That’s not just a resounding phrase. They starved to death. They dropped dead.”1 The articles were represented in a vaguely political pamphlet, Their Blood Is Strong, which included an additional epilogue with suggestions for change, including a resettling of the Okies on small family farms. Quite

Sharecropper's Grave, Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

12 Dust Bowl, Hulton Archive (Getty Images)



Homes belonging to Okies, dust bowl refugees, Time & Life Pictures (Getty Images)


by attempted annihilation or capture, becomes an ontological icon of persistence and survival. Also carrying its home on its back, the “Wife of a family with three children. She is turtle’s Joad-like 38; her face is lined and thin and there is a hard glaze on her eyes. The three children existence isn’t subtle who survive were born prior to 1929, when but is still effective. the family rented a farm in Utah. In 1930 There are frequent this woman bore a child which lived for associations to the months and died of “colic.” In 1938 her child was born dead because “a han’ truck animal world in the traits and actions of the fulla boxes run inta me two days before the baby come.” In 1932 there was a earthy Joads, who miscarriage. “I couldn’t carry the baby though sympathetic, ‘cause I was sick.” She is ashamed of this. In 1933 her baby lived a week. “Jus’ died. I are not free of sin – don’t know what of.” In 1934 she had no Tom’s quick temper, She is also a little ashamed of Al’s lusty libido, Uncle pregnancy. this. In 1935 her baby lived a long time, nine John’s drunkenness, months. “Seemed for a long time like he was gonna live. Big strong fella it seemed like.” Rosasharn’s selfShe is pregnant again now. “If we could get centered nature, Pa’s milk for um I guess it’d be better.” naiveté, Ma’s almost pathological need to keep the family together, Granma’s religious fervor, Grampa’s obstinancy and thievery (far from innocent, he is guilty of stealing the Joad homestead from an absent neighbor and its 40 acres from the Native Americans). Nor are they hesitant to express themselves freely, using authentic, often base language, which Steinbeck fought hard to include. There are frequent sexual references (perhaps the most lewd being Connie and Rosasharn’s intercourse very possibly at the moment of Granma’s death). Consequently, The Grapes of Wrath, with its foul banter, frank sexuality and shocking final scene, has at times found itself censored, subject to banning and even burning. Another reason for the controversy may be the novel’s quasi-religious elements. It’s clear Steinbeck had no real faith as evidenced by Ma Joad’s various encounters with sermonizing zealots, and by his ex-preacher, Jim Casy, who gives in to his natural impulses (and who is reluctant to pray when oft-called upon to do so). Yet Steinbeck uses the Old and New Testaments unexpectedly, with deception and guile. There are the more straightforward examples, including the names of Noah, Rose of Sharon and Moses (and the more saintly Thomas, John and James), or the title of the work ➤ 2


obviously, this concept ran contrary to the conventional large, commerical fields of California. Steinbeck was predisposed toward the downtrodden [as two earlier works, Tortilla Flats (1935) and In Dubious Battle (1936) attest], and his interest didn’t end there. He began with an epic survey, The Oklahomans (no text is known to survive), then turned to L’Affaire Lettuceberg, a bitter satire based on conflict between corporate agriculture and the field workers in his native Salinas. Though his publishers hotly anticipated the completion of the then-65,000+ word novel, the author soon became dissatisfied with the work, desiring something more true-to-life. To everyone’s dismay, he burned the pages of his nearly completed manuscript. But the seeds had been lain, and those three false starts yielded a unique milestone in literature. It took critics at least twenty years to “The attitude of the workers on the large unravel The Grapes of ranch is much that of the employer, hatred Wrath’s many layers, and suspicion. The worker sees himself surrounded by force. He knows that he can and the novel is still worthy of analysis even be murdered without fear on the part of the employer, and he has little recourse to law.… today. One remarkable A man herded about, surrounded by armed feature is the guards, starved and force to live in filth loses his dignity; that is, he loses his valid position alternation of in regard to society, and consequently his intercalary chapters whole ethics toward society.” between the Joad narrative, described as “repositories of all the external information” by the author. In most cases they describe the migrants’ journey in the greater context, but also anticipate events to follow specific to the Joads (a great foreshadower, Steinbeck frequently buries nuggets, seemingly meaningless, to become relevant much later in the narrative). These interchapters have been described as a “Greek chorus” (and nicely translate as such in a few key moments during the opera) and offer detachment to ensure the audience doesn’t get too close to the Joads, their hard times only exemplary of everyone’s tragedy. Steinbeck’s use of symbolism and allegory is also ingenious, if not at times overwhelming. Something as insignificant as the recurrent stalwart journey of an indefatigable, proto-postmodern land turtle (not addressed in the opera), whose southwestern pursuit cannot be stopped




b Oceanside (Long Island), New York, May 15, 1956


eferred to in The New York Times as “one of the leading younger composers of songs,” Ricky Ian Gordon is a composer of unusual scope, equally at home writing for the concert hall, opera, dance, theater and film. When his opera, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, premiered in Houston, one critic said “… it revealed to Houstonians a composer with a facile but compelling gift for song. His opera was, to me, another exciting moment in the accelerating emergence of a collective American style of art music rooted equally in the country’s vernacular and cultivated traditions.” Other credits for Mr. Gordon include My Life With Albertine, with Richard Nelson at Playwrights Horizons (cast recording, PS Classics), Dream True, with Tina Landau at the Vineyard Theater (recorded on PS Classics), The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, with Jean Claude Van Itallie at Houston Grand Opera and the American Music Theater Festival, Only Heaven, with Langston Hughes for Encompass Opera (recorded on PS Classics), Stonewall/Night Variations, with Tina Landau for En Garde Arts, States Of Independence, with Ms. Landau for the American Music Theater Festival, and Autumn Valentine, with Dorothy Parker for Opera Omaha’s 1992 Fall Festival. As composer-in-residence at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2001 and 2002, he wrote Morning Star, with William Hoffman. On March 13, 2001, at Lincoln Center, he was presented as part of the American Songbook Series. The New York Times said, “If the


Librettist Michael Korie and composer Ricky Ian Gordon. Photo by Gregory Downer.

music of Ricky Ian Gordon had to be defined by a single quality, it would be the bursting effervescence infusing songs that blithely blur the lines between art song and the high-end Broadway music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim … It’s caviar for a world gorging on pizza.” Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and recorded by many internationally known singers including Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Lorraine Hunt ➤ COMPOSER RICKY IAN GORDAN, CONTINUED ON PAGE 22


b Elizabeth, New Jersey, April 1, 1955



riting for both opera and musical theater, Michael Korie wrote the lyrics to the new musical Grey Gardens now playing on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre following its premiere OffBroadway at Playwrights Horizons. Based on the Maysles documentary about the society recluses Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie,” with a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, direction by Michael Greif and a heralded performance by Christine Ebersole, it was awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical of 2006 and was chosen as the Time Magazine number one show of the year. New York Magazine cited Korie’s lyrics as “the sharpest in town,” while Rolling Stone found it “an original score with the power to live in your head long after you leave the theater.” Also with composer Frankel, Korie wrote both book and lyrics to Doll, presented at the Ravinia Festival in a production the Chicago Tribune called “an elegant show, fascinating and challenging,” and the upcoming Meet Mister Future, set to premiere in Los Angeles in 2008. Following 14 developmental productions at La Jolla Playhouse, his

lyrics to composer Lucy Simon’s music for the new musical Zhivago will premiere abroad next season in a full production directed by Des McAnuff on London’s West End with book by Michael Weller based on Pasternak’s novel. Korie has previously enjoyed writing lyrics to composer Ricky Ian Gordon’s songs performed live in concert and broadcast from Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall conducted by Grant Gershon. The Grapes of Wrath is their first fulllength collaboration. His libretti for operas with composer Stewart Wallace include Hopper’s Wife, which premiered at Long Beach Opera in a production Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times called “brave, bold and important.” The experimental dance-opera Kabbalah premiered at Brooklyn Academy’s Next Wave Festival with direction and choreography by Ann Carlson, recorded on Koch Classics. His first opera libretto, Where’s Dick?, brought together opera singers, musical comedy performers and new vaudevillians in a production directed by avant-garde pioneer Richard ➤ LIBRETTIST MICHAEL KORIE, CONTINUED ON PAGE 24



During rehearsals for The Grapes of Wrath, The Minnesota Opera sat down with composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Michael Korie to discuss adapting the novel into an opera. The following is an abbreviated transcript of that discussion. MO: How did you find the musical voice for each of these characters?

RIG: Often I see what the words suggest to me musically by repeating MK: For me it’s structured them in natural speech like an epic opera, in three rhythm. For Tom Joad, it acts. Steinbeck’s writing was “I keep my nose clean is intensely rhythmic, of trouble.” So before I language that leaps off even know what the notes the page. will be, I know what the musical gesture is. With RIG: So much so that I Composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Michael Korie. Photo by Gregory Downer. Ma Joad, I was looking for knew it had to be a dialogue with some of Steinbeck’s utter simplicity – that grounded ballad opera. description so the characters would earth-mother quality. So for her, I didn’t compose consecutively. I MO: When adapting a novel of this length have scenes they could sing. skipped far ahead into the act and for the opera stage, in the words of Ma RIG: Sadly, the turtle crossing the composed “Us” before I set her duet Joad, “How to decide what stays, what road isn’t one of them. with Tom, “Promise Me, Tommy.” I goes?” Were you faithful to Steinbeck? selected key moments or musical MO: Ricky, you were commissioned to hotspots because once you have MK: Without being obsequious, we wanted to be faithful to the full narra- compose this opera because of your distinctly them, you know what your thematic American style and your ease in moving material is. tive. We ended up including more of between the worlds of musical theater and the story than the movie or the classical music. Where do you see a MO: And Michael, you have written lyrics Broadway stage play which omitted a that seem to leap out of Steinbeck, even great deal of Steinbeck’s historical and distinction between those worlds? when paraphrasing whole chapters. How do social context. We wanted to find a RIG: When I’m composing, those you find the right words? way to keep it … kind of distinctions don’t occur to me. I entered the story and let the story MK: I waited months before I let RIG: … And we realized that in an enter me … and found the music myself start writing. I wanted to opera house, we had a powerful storyabsorb the novel, and so I waited and telling tool no other adaptive medium which felt right to me for this opera. At moments it has a more complex waited until the opening lyric of the had at its disposal – the chorus. It 20th century European harmonic opera came to me … “The last time became a character we used to evoke there was rain.” Everything that folSteinbeck’s narrative voice. sound, but overall you want it to be lowed fell into place. Many of the key easy to enter … the way the book is. phrases are Steinbeck’s. When I had to MK: We consolidated some of the You could say, “I chose to write it in a condense or invent, I thought of what cameo characters with the principals. way that would be easy to enter,” but the characters would sing. An anonymous cropper woman was that would be a lie because I didn’t the basis for Ma Joad’s aria, “Us.” We choose … I wrote it in my style … MO: How much of the opera have you kept the entire Joad family. which I hope is easy to enter. altered during rehearsals? RIG: And even expanded some of MO: The Steinbeck estate must have agreed them – Noah, who simply walked off because it turned down many other composers RIG: A lot of times an opera composer will submit the score with a down the river in the novel now has a over the years who were seeking the rights. note … “Nothing can be changed.” scene which closes the second act. Michael and I are of the theater. Without the novel’s prose description, RIG: Which is why I have to assume we have to define the character by that if I’m the one who was picked, all We’re here shaping and trimming our work because we won’t have the what he or she sings. I have to do is be myself all over the place and it’ll be the right thing. And luxury of previews. Being in that rehearsal room is previews. ❚ MK: We merged the terseness of the this score is really me.


MO: In his journal, Steinbeck noted his intention to write the novel “in a musical technique.” It would be “symphonic in composition,” he wrote.



Prologue – An open field


The cropper men and women recall the devastation of their native Oklahoma lands, brought about by drought and economic depression.




Tom Joad is paroled from McAlester Prison after serving four years for killing a man in a fight. After hitching a ride, he runs into Jim Casy, an expreacher, and together they happen upon the nearly deserted Joad farm. The Dust Bowl has ravaged the Depression-era country, and the family is gone; only Muley Graves, a neighbor, remains. He has taken refuge there as his own home was taken by the bank and trampled by a tractor. Tom learns his family is up at Uncle John’s – but not for long, as he too has been evicted. They are all surprised to see Tom out of jail, and he agrees to relocate with them in California where it is rumored that there is work, even if it means he must break his parole. At the same time, Tom’s 16-yearold brother Al is buying the truck that will make the 2,000-mile trek. Hucksters try to sell him a wreck, but the mechanically inclined teen feels he’s made a good deal. The family isn’t quite so sure. Nonetheless, Granma and Grampa are thrilled by their prospects out west, while Ma laments the loss of the land and belongings that have meant so much to them. The next day, Grampa is a little less exuberant, but the family loads him up into the truck along with their few remaining possessions and heads down the plenty road with Casy along for the ride. Though all

Act II, sc. iv – Sunrise over the Tehachapi Valley

Act II, sc. vi – Fire in the orchard (scenic design by Allen Moyer; photos by Mike Long)

remain optimistic, traveling along Route 66, Tom and the others experience their first disparaging remarks, now labeled as “Okies.” As the Joads set up camp for the night, they meet other travelers who have handbills identical to Pa’s. One ragged man has already been to California and reports that there is no work left. In order to keep wages low, ranch owners print thousands of handbills when they only have a few hundred jobs available. His entire family perished from famine. Elsewhere, dangling their feet off a highway overpass, Connie and Rosasharn watch the passing traffic. Connie admires the Lincoln Zephyr, while Rosasharn dreams of a home for their baby. The next day the Joads soberly bury Grampa, who has died during the night. The family then continues their journey down the road.

knows it. The next morning, after passing through an inspection station and reaching the beautiful Tehachapi Valley, the awful truth is revealed. Ma had promised Granma she’d be buried in a green place. At the Endicott Farm, the scene flashes back to 1849. California settler George Endicott plants his first plum tree. In the present time, growers inform the Joads that there’s no work there – the crop already has been picked. Another flash to 1924: George Endicott the grandson has become a successful businessman. Back in the present, the locals rally – with the influx of Okie laborers, their wages have been slashed. Nearby, plums are being burned – the farm grew too many, and to drive up the price, they destroy the excess, rather than give them to the hungry croppers. The Joads continue on, settling in Hooverville, a squalid shanty town by the railroad tracks. The family is disgusted by their new surroundings but have little choice at the moment. Al angrily reproaches his slow-witted brother Noah for being more of a burden than a help. He wants to break off on his own, but Ma takes charge, insisting the family stay together. Connie regrets leaving what little he had in Oklahoma and derides Rosasharn’s hopeless dreams of home and family. He storms off, never to return. The next day a contractor and a deputy show up with more handbills offering work. Al is suspicious and Casy asks to see the contractor’s license, causing a stir. When the squatters refuse to go, the situation becomes agitated. The deputy tries to


At a diner, a waitress chats with truckers. Pa enters with Ruthie and Winfield in tow, and she looks at them with contempt. They try to buy a loaf of bread for Granma (who is now sick) as they prepare to cross the Mojave Desert, but they only have a dime. At the urging of her husband, the waitress gives them the loaf at a discount. Suddenly moved, she throws in two lollipops for the kids. As they cross the dry Mojave, the men drive the truck while Connie makes amorous overtures to a reluctant Rosasharn. Ma rests with Granma. The old woman has died, but only Ma



Costume sketches of Tom, Ma and Noah by Kärin Kopischke


Newly relocated at a government settlement camp, Ruthie and Winfield marvel at a flushing toilet, the first they have ever seen. The camp makes them feel like people again, though Ma is startled to discover she accidentally has gone into the men’s room. Inside the inner shower room, the Men’s Committee meets. Outside, the women gather as they wash clothes, instructing Ma on the rules of the camp. Rosasharn is now very pregnant and despondent over Connie’s departure. Ma tries to comfort her with sage advice. Later, at the camp hoedown, the Joads joyfully take part in a square dance. Vigilantes try to cause a disturbance, but the crowd, aware of their plan to create a riot, makes the expulsion of the intruders part of the dance. When two deputies arrive to break up what they think will be a fight, they leave disappointed. The local farm owners are clearly unhappy with the camp’s growing autonomy. Pa shows everyone a new handbill with great enthusiasm, but the crowd responds dishearteningly. Nonetheless, they prepare to pack – as good as the camp may be, there is still no way to make money for food as long as they reside there. At Hooper Ranch a strike is in progress, but the Joads and others are quickly ushered by the line, unaware they are scabs. As they pick the peaches, Tom questions what is happening beyond the fence, but is quickly silenced. Though thrilled to finally have some money, Ma soon discovers how inflated prices are at the local commissary. Other things – ladders, housing, showers – also prove to be expensive, and the Joads are barely better off than they were before. Later that night, Tom takes a closer look at what’s going on outside the fence. He discovers

a group of men, one of which is Casy, who leads the strike over poor wages. Vigilantes soon arrive and bludgeon Casy to death. Tom interferes and is slashed on the face. He in turn bashes his assailant, killing him. Now a marked man, Tom has gone into hiding and Ma smuggles him some food. He announces his plan to go off on his own, and they share a tender moment. The remaining Joads find work picking cotton and shelter in a boxcar. Just as the rainy season begins, Rosasharn goes into labor, but delivers a stillborn child. The raging river has now swallowed its banks and flooded the Joads out of their home. Only Ma, Pa, Ruthie, Winfield and a very weak Rosasharn remain and seek refuge inside a barn. There they find a boy and a starving, nearly dead man. Ma intuitively knows what Rosasharn must do, and ushers everyone else back outside. Rosasharn nourishes the man with her breast. ❚


cuff Tom, but he escapes, and the ensuing bullet meant for him hits a nearby woman, killing her instantly. In the growing scuffle, the deputy is knocked unconscious and the contractor runs for safety. As the deputy comes to, Casy chooses to take the blame, as the Joads make a beeline for the truck. Rosasharn is distraught, for Connie hasn’t come back. Noah goes to the creek to fetch a bucket of water and instead submerges himself.




For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at Jesse Blumberg

Connie Rivers Minnesota Opera Debut Recently 2006 Santa Fe Apprentice Artist Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rockland Opera On Wings of Song recital, Marilyn Horne Foundation UK tour, Mark Morris Dance Group; Death in Venice, Glimmerglass Upcoming The Return of Ulysses, Opera Vivente (Baltimore) Bach Cantatas, American Bach Soloists (San Francisco) Die schoene Muellerin (Austrian Embassy) The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Theodore Chletsos Featured Ensemble Minnesota Opera Debut Madame Butterfly, 2004 Recently Gianni Schicchi, Opera Theater of New Jersey The Elephant Man; Orazi e Curiazi; Don Giovanni; Carmen; Maria Padilla, The Minnesota Opera Vanessa, Central City Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, Minnesota Orchestra Les contes d’Hoffmann; Student Prince; others, Central City Op. Upcoming Madama Butterfly, Green Mountain Opera Festival

Rosalind Elias Granma Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Cavalleria rusticana; La vida breve, Palm Beach Opera Les contes d’Hoffmann; Eugene Onegin; La fille du régiment; Dialogues of the Carmelites; Le nozze di Figaro; Der Rosenkavalier; others, Metropolitan Opera Salome, Houston; Columbus; Baltimore Operas Sweeney Todd, New York City Opera; Vanessa, Dallas Opera Upcoming Anna Karenina, Florida Grand; St. Louis Operas Vanessa, New York City Opera

Roger Honeywell Jim Casy Minnesota Opera Debut Recently La bohème, Opera Company of Philadelphia Jenufa, Glimmerglass Opera Margaret Garner, Michigan; Cincinnati; Philadelphia Operas Macbeth, Canadian Opera Company Die Fledermaus, Seattle Opera Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera Carmen, Calgary Opera Tea, A Mirror of the Soul, Santa Fe Opera


Kelly Kaduce


Rosasharn Minnesota Opera Debut La bohème, 2002 Recently Madame Butterfly; Thaïs, Boston Lyric Opera La bohème, New York City Opera; Malmö Opera och Musikteater Jane Eyre, Opera Theatre of St. Louis Susannah, Orlando Opera; Faust, Nashville Opera Upcoming Anna Karenina, Florida Grand; St. Louis Operas Tea: A Mirror of Soul, Santa Fe Opera

Brian Leerhuber Tom Joad Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Die Fledermaus, San Francisco Opera Ariadne auf Naxos; Le nozze di Figaro, Tulsa Opera Don Pasquale, Houston Grand Opera The Barber of Seville, Santa Fe Opera A Wedding, Lyric Opera of Chicago Le nozze di Figaro, Austin Lyric Opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Cincinnati Opera Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Henry Bushnell Winfield Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Wind in the Willows; Rags, New Breath Productions Treasure Island, Capitol Hill Upcoming Oliver, Capitol Hill

Dan Dressen Grampa Minnesota Opera Debut Hansel and Gretel, 1983 Recently The Handmaid’s Tale; La traviata; Street Scene; Le nozze di Figaro; Der Rosenkavalier; others, The Minnesota Opera The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth; Intimations of Immortality; The Fourth Wiseman; others, VocalEssence Carmen; The Dream of Valentino, Washington Opera The Company of Heaven, Aldeburgh Festival Upcoming Songs of Innocence and Experience, VocalEssence

Peter Halverson Pa Joad Minnesota Opera Debut Così fan tutte, 1991 Recently Les pêcheurs de perles, Fargo-Moorhead Opera Loss of Eden; The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth, VocalEssence Don Giovanni, Tacoma Opera Le nozze di Figaro, Berkshire Opera Passion; Faust; La Cenerentola; Pelléas et Mélisande; Turandot; Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Minnesota Opera Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Anna Jablonski Featured Ensemble Minnesota Opera Debut The Merry Widow, 2002 Recently 2006 Merola Opera Program Così fan tutte, Portland Nixon; Carmen; Maria Padilla; Magic Flute; Passion; Rigoletto; Dutchman; La traviata; Handmaid’s Tale, Minnesota Opera Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera Mozart Requiem, Tallahassee Symphony Le roi David; Stravinsky Mass, Carnegie Hall

Joshua Kohl Al Joad Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently La donna del lago; The Tales of Hoffmann, Minnesota Opera Transformations, Merola Opera Program The Land of Smiles, Atlanta Lyric Theatre Lucie de Lammermoor; The Little Prince, Boston Lyric Opera Die Fledermaus; A Friend of Napoleon; A Soldier’s Promise; The Violet of Montmartre; Maytime; Patience, Ohio Light Opera La finta giardiniera; Roméo et Juliette, Boston University Upcoming Lakmé, The Minnesota Opera

Kelly Markgraf Featured Ensemble Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Recently Street Scene, Opera Theatre of St. Louis Carmen; Il barbiere di Siviglia; Madama Butterfly, Pensacola Opera Die Fledermaus, Rimrock Opera Così fan tutte; The Memory Game; The Village Singer, Univ. of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Upcoming Lakmé, The Minnesota Opera

For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at


Deanne Meek

Maeve Coleen Moynihan

Ma Joad Minnesota Opera Debut Little Women, 2002 Recently Ariadne auf Naxos, Teatro Real; Tulsa Opera; L. A. Opera Parsifal, Metropolitan Opera Così fan tutte, Opéra National du Rhin (Strasbourg) Die Walküre, Théâtre du Châtelet Alcina, English National Opera Il trovatore, Bregenz Festival Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Ruthie Minnesota Opera Debut The Handmaid’s Tale, 2003 Recently Esperanza Rising; Pippi Longstocking; The Big Friendly Giant, Children’s Theatre Company Les Miserables, Edina High School

Robert Orth

Gregory Pearson

Uncle John Minnesota Opera Debut Rosina, 1980 Recently Nixon in China, Portland Opera; Chicago Opera Theater The Merry Widow, Metropolitan Opera Candide, Rome Ballad of Baby Doe, Central City Opera Upcoming End of the Affair, Lyric Opera of Kansas City The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera Nixon in China, Opera Colorado; Cincinnati Opera

Featured Ensemble Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Tosca; The Barber of Seville; The Mikado; La bohème, Wildwood Opera Festival The Girl of the Golden West; Cold Sassy Tree; Otello, Utah Symphony & Opera La Cenerentola, Utah Opera Young Artist Tour (guest artist) Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Andrew Wilkowske

Karin Wolverton

Noah Minnesota Opera Debut Transatlantic, 1998 Recently Richard Tucker Gala, Avery Fisher Hall Madame Butterfly; Tosca, Los Angeles Opera Hansel and Gretel, Skylight Opera Theatre Nixon in China; The Magic Flute; others, Minnesota Opera Upcoming Le nozze di Figaro, The Minnesota Opera Dona Nobis Pacem, Ashville Choral Society Die Zauberflöte, Eugene Opera

Featured Ensemble Minnesota Opera Debut Lucia di Lammermoor, 2001 Recently The Rake’s Progress; The Tales of Hoffmann; Gloriana; Salome, Des Moines Metro Opera Tales of Hoffmann; Don Giovanni; Carmen; Maria Padilla; Magic Flute; Passion; Rigoletto; others, The Minnesota Opera The Tales of Hoffmann; The Student Prince, Central City Opera Dvorak Te Deum; Amahl, Minnesota Orchestra Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Bruce Coughlin

Alexander Farino

Co-orchestrator Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Grey Gardens; Lestat; The Light in the Piazza; Urinetown; The Wild Party; Annie Get Your Gun, Broadway See What I Wanna See; My Life With Albertine; Floyd Collins, Off-Broadway/Regional Candide, National Theatre (London) Send (who are you? i love you); Where’s Dick, Houston Grand Opera Upcoming Saving Aimee; The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre

Production Stage Manager Minnesota Opera Debut Rigoletto, 1995 Recently 1996 – 2007 seasons, The Minnesota Opera Hansel and Gretel; Candide, Minnesota Orchestra Acis and Galatea; Central Park; Tosca, Glimmerglass Opera A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Madame Butterfly, Opera Pacific Upcoming Lakmé; Le nozze di Figaro, The Minnesota Opera

Grant Gershon

Wendall K. Harrington

Conductor Minnesota Opera Debut Recently Don Giovanni; Verdi Requiem; A Little Night Music, Los Angeles Master Chorale (music director) guest conductor – Houston Grand Opera; Swedish Royal Opera; Ravinia Festival; Vienna Festival assistant conductor – Los Angeles Philharmonic; Salzburg Festival; Berlin Staatsoper world premieres – Steve Reich; John Adams Upcoming The Grapes of Wrath, Utah Symphony & Opera

Video Designer Minnesota Opera Debut Transatlantic, 1997 Recently Grey Gardens; The Good Body; others, Broadway Arjuna’s Dilemma, Brooklyn Academy of Music Snapshots, Elements Quartet The Turn of the Screw, Royal Danish Opera The Nutcracker, San Francisco Ballet Nixon in China, The Minnesota Opera; others Anna Karenina, Royal Danish Ballet A View from the Bridge (Bolcom), Lyric Opera of Chicago

Kärin Kopischke

photo not available

Costume Designer Minnesota Opera Debut La bohème, 1996 Recently Orazi e Curiazi, The Minnesota Opera Steppenwolf; American Conservatory Theatre; Goodman; Huntington; Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Long Wharf Theatre; Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Victory Gardens; Kennedy Center; Crossroads Theatre; San Francisco Shakespeare Festival; California Shakespeare Festival; Cincinnati Playhouse; Skylight Opera Theatre


Janice Kimes Children’s Chorusmaster Minnesota Opera Debut Hansel and Gretel, 1981 Recently Elephant Man; Carmen; Pagliacci/Carmina burana; Street Scene; Turandot; Madame Butterfly; The Turn of the Screw; Tosca; The Magic Flute; La bohème; Rigoletto; Bok Choy Variations; others, The Minnesota Opera Founder/Artistic Director (retired) – Bel Canto Voices Macbeth; others (ensemble), The Minnesota Opera





For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at Allen Moyer

Doug Scholz-Carlson

Set Designer Minnesota Opera Debut Norma, 1991 Recently Salsipuedes; Abduction from the Seraglio, Houston Grand Opera Agrippina; Così fan tutte, Santa Fe Opera Nixon in China, The Minnesota Opera; St. Louis Opera Il trittico, New York City Opera; Sylvia, San Fran. Ballet Upcoming Un ballo in maschera, Opera Colorado; Minnesota Opera Daphne, Santa Fe Opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Metropolitan Opera

Assistant Director Minnesota Opera Debut Der Rosenkavalier, 2000 Recently Mefistofele, Theatre de la Jeune Lune Carmen; The Rape of Lucretia; The Handmaid’s Tale; Passion; Don Carlos; others, The Minnesota Opera Hamlet; Romeo and Juliette, Theater 3 (New York) Christmas Carol; Gross Indecency; Sweeney Todd, Guthrie Upcoming Peer Gynt, Minnesota Orchestra Macbeth, Great River Shakespeare Festival

Heidi Spesard-Noble

Eric Simonson

Assistant Choreographer Minnesota Opera Debut The Merry Widow, 2002 Recently Orazi e Curiazi*; Carmen*; La traviata*, Minnesota Opera Midlife: the Crisis Musical*, Brigadoon*; The Christmas Show*; Big Bang*; Music Man; My Fair Lady; others, Chanhassen Theatres Runaways*, Macalaster College Rite of Spring; Beauty and the Beast; Swan Lake, Mystical Hunter; Allegro Brilliant, Minnesota Dance Theatre Upcoming choreographer Lakmé *, The Minnesota Opera

Stage Director Minnesota Opera Debut The Magic Flute (tour), 1991 Recently A Note of Triumph – Academy Award (short documentary) When Pride Still Mattered, Madison Repertory Theatre Carter’s Way, Kansas City Repertory Homeland; Five Points; On Tiptoe, HBO Television Korczak’s Children, Children’s Theatre Company Ahab’s Tale; Work Song, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre The Song of Jacob Zulu, Steppenwolf Theatre; Broadway La bohème; Handmaid’s Tale; Orazi, Minnesota Opera


Doug Varone

Robert Wierzel

Choreographer Minnesota Opera Debut Transatlantic, 1998 Recently Orpheus and Euridice (Gordon), Lincoln Center Theater Dense Terrain, Brooklyn Academy of Music Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man, The Minnesota Opera American Tragedy; Salome; Stravinsky; Les Troyens, Met. Opera Il barbiere di Siviglia; Orphée et Eurydice, Opera Colorado The Invisible Man, Aquila Theater Company Die Walküre, Washington National Opera Artistic Director – Doug Varone and Dancers

Lighting Designer Minnesota Opera Debut Snow Leopard, 1989 Recently Don Giovanni, Seattle Opera Jenufa, Glimmerglass Opera Happy End, American Conservatory Macbeth, Vancouver Opera Agrippina, Virginia Opera Orpheus and Euridice (Gordon), Lincoln Center Theater Upcoming Giulio Cesare, Seattle Opera





itself drawn, from the spiritual The Battle Hymn of the Republic tent, the right to feed the hungary or refuse help, the rights of the pregnant and the sick above all else. The great flood and from Revelation, with the suggestion that God’s comes, but lacks a Noah – too simple to save the world righteous fury could (and probably should) come at any anyway, he takes a wrong turn at time. (The title was the brain the Colorado River and disappears child of co-dedicatee Carol forever. And paramount to the Steinbeck, who laboriously typed entire narrative, Rosasharn’s and edited the manuscript.) The powerful breast-feeding scene has parallels to Exodus are also the resurrective/restorative quality evident – the Joads leave of the Eucharist as well as the “plague-ridden” Oklahoma to traditional visual art composition cross the Mojave Desert and end of the Pietà. up in the Promised Land, led by There are the twelve Joads, the Tom Joad, recently returned after twelve disciples (including one having been banished for killing Judas, Connie Rivers, lying outside a man. But in a strange twist, he the family gene pool), who follow who appears to be Moses, though the “Christ” figure, Jim Casy. He journeying down the river in a shares his initials with the Messiah “basket,” is stillborn, and the as well as a few other traits. The Joad’s Eden is far from paradise Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven hungry children. most introspective character, Casy (serpentine imagery is also Mother aged thirty-two (1936) Photograph by Dorothea Lange Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI has spent several years wandering present), filled with scarcity, the wilderness, a preacher who is skitters, distrust and death. Even Collection, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-03055] eager to spread his new doctrine to anyone who will listen, the name Joad has been interpreted as a variant of “Judah,” including a sometimes impatient Tom. Casy sacrifices or by example of Okie-speak mispronunciation, the everhimself twice, once to take the place of Tom in prison ➤ suffering Job. An unwritten code of conduct becomes the Mosiac Law of the camps – the right of privacy within the BACKGROUND NOTES CONTINUED TO PAGE 37

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Lieberson, Deborah Voigt, Andrea Marcovicci, Harolyn Blackwell and Betty Buckley. Other recordings such as two Nonesuch compact discs: Audra McDonald’s Way Back To Paradise and Bright Eyed Joy: The Songs Of Ricky Ian Gordon, and Water Music/A Two-Part Requiem on Of Eternal Light, the Catalyst/BMG Classics CD with Musica Sacra conducted by Richard Westenberg. Harolyn Blackwell, on the compact disc entitled Strange Hurt for RCA Victor, recorded Genius Child, a cycle of ten Langston Hughes settings. Current projects include For My Family (for which Gordon is also the book writer and lyricist and which has already had a developmental workshop at The Sundance Theater Lab) and his orchestral song cycle and flowers pick themselves…, which uses five poems by e. e. cummings and premiered on October 29 in Michigan. Mr. Gordon’s collaboration with choreographer Seán Curran, Art Song Dance, premiered at The Joyce Theater in June 2005, and Orpheus and Euridice premiered as part of Lincoln Center’s New Visions Series American Songbook and Great Performers Series on October 5, 2005, with Todd Palmer as the clarinetist, Elizabeth Futral, soprano, and Melvin Chin as the pianist. Doug Varone directed and choreographed. Peter G. Davis in New York Magazine wrote: “Both Gordon’s text and music are couched in an accessible idiom of disarming lyrical


directness, a cleverly disguised faux naivete that always resolves dissonant situations with grace and a sure sense of dramatic effect – the mark of a born theater composer.” Orpheus and Euridice won a 2006 OBIE Award. The citation read: A musician, a dead lover, an extraordinary journey; you might think this old tale has been told too many times, but one composer’s personal passion, a choreographer’s startling imagination, and the courage of a producer, created one of this year’s most moving theatrical events in any genre. For their new visionary retelling of the tale of Orpheus and Euridice, the judges have awarded an Obie to Ricky Ian Gordon, Doug Varone and the Lincoln Center New Visions program, Jon Nakagawa and Jane Moss producers.

On April 28–29, 2002, there were two sold-out concerts of Mr. Gordon’s music at the Guggenheim Museum as part of the Works and Process series, with Audra McDonald, Theresa McCarthy, Lewis Cleale and Darius DeHaas with Ted Sperling conducting. Stephen Holden wrote: As the singers performed more than 20 of Mr. Gordon's songs, the majority arranged by the composer for a 10-member ensemble conducted by Ted Sperling, the music bubbled and

cascaded like a mountain brook after a spring rain. Over and over, one had the image of a boy skipping ecstatically through fields and woods on a crisp April morning. Mr. Gordon's love of poetry is evident from the clarity and ease of flow of settings that rarely allow a word to get lost. Whether giving musical voice to Hughes's urban angst or to Parker's cynicism, the composer instinctively looks for the silver lining. He turns despair into sadness and softens bitter into wry. Several of his settings of Hughes's poems are inflected with Jazz Age flavors that suggest the blues, but as played by a jazz band at a champagne reception on an ocean liner. — The New York Times, April 30, 2002 �

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Foreman for Houston Grand Opera. His libretto for Harvey Milk blended fact with fiction in dramatizing the life and assassination of the slain San Francisco City Supervisor. The opera premiered at Houston Grand Opera followed by productions at New York City Opera and Dortmund Opera in Germany. Revised after its initial performances, it premiered the following season at San Francisco Opera, conducted by Donald Runnicles, directed by Christopher Alden and featuring Robert Orth in the title role (recorded on Teldec Classics). Writing of the libretto in the San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman called it “by turns haunting and hilarious, brassy and mystically poetic,” while Edward Seckerson in the London Independent cited the libretto as “among the most accomplished I have encountered in contemporary opera.” The text for the work’s 40-minute concluding requiem, Kaddish for Harvey Milk, was based on testimonies which Korie collected in interviews with Milk’s surviving political and personal associates. Though truncated for the opera, it was performed in full as a separate work in a live broadcast produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Also for the concert stage, Korie created the libretto for the evening-length A Gay Century Songbook to music by composer Larry Grossman, premiered at Carnegie Hall by New York City Gay


Men’s Chorus and recorded on DRG. Other experimental concert works with Korie’s text have been presented at the Knitting Factory, p.s. 122 and La Mama. Korie’s work has been awarded The Edward Kleban Award and Jonathan Larson Foundation Award. Two of his works have been presented as part of the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, and he is a three-time recipient of the Richard Rodgers Production Award administered by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He and Frankel were awarded this year’s ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. He is a fellow of The MacDowell Colony and The Blue Mountain Center and lives in New York City with Ivan Sygoda. ❚

The hidden language of the soul.

Music is the universal language that enriches our lives. It bridges the gaps and barriers between us. And somehow, it makes the world seem smaller and more intimate.


At Ameriprise Financial, we are proud to support and celebrate the Minnesota Opera. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member NASD and SIPC. Š 2007 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

THE MINNESOTA OPERA Kyle Albertson Alison Bates Korey Bickel Karen Bushby Andrea Coleman Ben Crickenberger Steve Dahlberg Jen Eckes Andy Elfenbein Carole Finneran Peter Frenz Brandon Glosser Tracey Gorman Jamie-Rose Guarrine Kate Haugen Michelle Hayes Robin Helgen James Howes Kathleen Humphrey Ben Johnson Tor Johnson Brian Jorgensen Roy Kallemeyn


SUPERNUMERARIES Ashley Fuss Noah Gilbertson Kenny Kiser Kacie Riddle David Ross Alex Sundvall David Wiles

ARTISTS covering principal roles Kyle Albertson – Noah Ashlee Fuss – Ruthie Noah Gilbertson – Winfield Jamie-Rose Guarrine – Rosasharn Kathleen Humphrey – Granma Kelly Markgraf – Tom Joad


Violin I



Allison Ostrander Concertmaster Julia Persitz David Mickens Angela Waterman-Hanson Judy Thon-Jones Andrea Een Conor O’Brien Alistair Brown Huldah Niles Lydia Miller

John Michael Smith Constance Martin Jason C. Hagelie

John G. Koopmann Christopher Volpe David Chapman



Michele Frisch Amy Morris double piccolo

Phillip A. Ostrander John Tranter David Stevens



Marilyn Ford Tina James double English horn

Ralph Hepola

Stephan R. Orsak Elizabeth Decker Melinda Marshall Carolin Kiesel Johnson Helen Foli Giselle Hillyer Lindsay Erickson Jill H. Olson


Maggie Lofboom Elizabeth Longhurst Sandy Henderson Eric Mahutga Tom Matchinsky Eric Mellum Cortez Mitchell Ed Mout Matt Neil Janet Paone Rick Penning Nili Riemer Steve Sandberg Joy Scheib Bob Schmidt Cathy Schmidt Sandy Schoenecker Joel Swearingen Hugo Vera Eric Vollen Kevin Werner Sarah Wigley


Violin II



Viola Annette Caruthers Vivi Erickson Laurel Browne Jenny Lind Nilsson Susan Janda Jim Bartsch

Cello John Eadie Rebecca Arons Thomas Austin Sally Dorer Fang-Yu Liang Brian Kubin


Timpani Kory Andry

Sandra Powers Nina Olsen double Eb and bass clarinet




Coreen Nordling Laurie Hatcher Merz double contrabassoon

Tom Linker


Matthew Barber Steve Kimball

Acoustic Guitar/Banjo Bobby Stanton

Jared Ziegler, alto Bill Olson, tenor/baritone




Charles Kavalovski Charles Hodgson Neal Bolter Lawrence Barnhart

Noah Hoehn Min J. Kim

Personnel Manager Steve Lund


Saturday, February 17 12 noon Ordway Center for the Performing Arts ALL AUDITION EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.


Call Judith Boylan, MN District Director, for more information (763.476.2372).





Education AT THE OPERA

Photo by Mele Willis

Project Opera Viva Verdi! Project Opera’s Giovani performed with the Minnesota Orchestra in Viva Verdi, a Young People’s concert November 8–10, 2006. Photo by Mele Willis

Resident Artists Alison Bates and Hugo Vera also performed scenes from La traviata.


Apprentice Recital


Summer Opera Camp auditions Photo by Mele Willis

On January 14th the Opera’s Apprentices performed a recital at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. They performed art songs by Léo Delibes along with music of The Grapes of Wrath composer, Ricky Ian Gordon. The Apprentice program is made up of a select group of three talented singers and an accompanist from Project Opera. You can also see the Apprentices in the chorus of Lakmé.

Apprentices receive coaching from Ricky Ian Gordon

Save the date – Sunday, April 15 will be auditions for the Opera’s third annual summer opera camp. Boys and girls currently in grades 9–12 are encouraged to audition. Call Jamie Andrews at 612.342.9573 for more information.

Day at the Opera Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007 will be our next “Day at the Opera.” This event gives high school singers a look behind the scenes of the professional world of opera, through singing in a master class, meeting the artists, touring the Opera Center and more. Boys and girls interested in participating need only a recommendation from their voice or choir teacher. Call Jamie Andrews at 612.342.9573 for more information.

Education AT THE OPERA Adult Education Lakmé, March 19, 2007, 7:00-9:00 PM Léo Delibes wrote some 30 works for the stage, but only three or four live today: the ballets Coppelia and Sylvia, and the operas Lakmé and La roi l’a dit. Lakmé fulfilled his ambition to write a successful serious opera. From the beginning it attracted the finest sopranos of the day, from Adelina Patti to Joan Sutherland. We’ll listen to historic and contemporary recordings of Delibes’ stunning vehicles for the coloratura soprano voice, including the Bell Song and the Flower Duet. We’ll also look into the strict hierarchy of 19th century Paris opera: how and where particular works were produced, who ruled the roost in Delibes’ time and which contemporaries supported him or disdained him. Minnesota Public Radio’s Bill Morelock will present this class.

Guest Lecturer

Good listening


Nancy Meeden 651.282-9650

Crocus Hill Office


Known in public radio circles for his remarkable ability to relate classical music to contemporary consciousness, Bill Morelock hosts weeknight programming on Minnesota Public Radio, including Open Air on Tuesdays and The Opera on Wednesdays. From 1999 until 2004, Morelock showcased his storytelling abilities as host of Drivetime Classics on WCAL. He began his career at Northwest Public Radio in Pullman, Washington. There, he and Bob Christiansen created and hosted Bob and Bill, which eventually “went national” as a daily classical series from National Public Radio. Later, the program migrated to St. Paul and Minnesota Public Radio. The pair received a Gold Award for music programming from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1989.




It is with deep appreciation that The Minnesota Opera recognizes and thanks all of the individual donors whose annual support helps bring great opera to life. It is our pleasure to give special recognition to the following individuals whose leadership support provides the financial foundation which makes the Opera’s artistic excellence possible. For information on making a contribution to The Minnesota Opera, please call Dawn Loven, Director of the Annual Fund, at 612-342-9567.

Bel Canto Circle Platinum $20,000 and above

Gold $15,000–$19,999

Mary and Gus Blanchard Julia W. Dayton Sara and Jock Donaldson* John and Ruth Huss Lucy Rosenberry Jones Patricia Lund Mr. and Mrs. George Mairs Stephanie Simon and Craig Bentdahl Mary W. Vaughan Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation C. Angus and Margaret Wurtele

Karen Bachman* Mrs. Thomas B. Carpenter Darlene J. and Richard P. Carroll* Ellie and Tom Crosby, Jr. Susan and Richard Crockett Dolly J. Fiterman N. Bud and Beverly Grossman Foundation* Heinz and Sisi Hutter Mr. and Mrs. Philip Isaacson*

Anonymous (2) Rebecca Rand and E. Thomas Binger Susan Boren Jane M. and Ogden W. Confer Mary Dearing and Barry Lazarus

Cy and Paula Decosse Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Peter J. King Ilo and Margaret Leppik Mr. and Mrs. B. John Lindahl, Jr. Lynne Looney Thomas and Barbara McBurney Harvey T. McLain Mrs. Walter Meyers Bruce and Sandy Nelson Jose Peris and Diana Gulden Bernt von Ohlen and Thomas Nichol

Anonymous (2) Kim A. Anderson

Lowell Anderson and Kathy Welte Alexandra O. Bjorklund Christopher Burns Steve Chirhart Dr. Stephen and Beth Cragle Lisa and Patrick Denzer Thomas and Mary Lou Detwiler Mona Bergman Dewane and Patrick Dewane Sally J. Economon Susan Engel and Arthur Eisenberg* Rolf and Nancy Engh Rondi Erickson and Sandy Lewis Leslie and Alain Frecon Christine and W. Michael Garner Mr. and Mrs. R. James Gesell Mrs. Myrtle Grette Frank Guzzetta* Mr. and Mrs. Gary Holmes Dorothy J. Horns, M.D., and James P. Richardson Ken and Tina Hughes Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Dale A. Johnson Jacqueline Nolte Jones Robert and Susan Josselson Stan and Jeanne Kagin Paul and Sarah Karon Lyndel and Blaine King Mrs. James S. Kochiras Constance and Daniel Kunin

David MacMillan and Judy Krow Debra and James Lakin Helen and Benjamin Liu Mahley Family Foundation Becky Malkerson Roy and Dorothy Ann Mayeske James and Judith Mellinger Richard and Nancy Nicholson Ruth and Ahmad Orandi* Luis Pagan-Carlo William and Barbara Pearce Jodi and Todd Peterson Marge and Dwight Peterson Mr. and Mrs. William Phillips Robert and Mary Price Mary and Paul Reyelts Lois and John Rogers Ken and Nina Rothchild Sampson Family Charitable Foundation Kay Savik and Joe Tashjian Robert L. Lee and Mary E. Schaffner Drs. Joseph and Kristina Sha∂er Frank and Lynda Sharbrough Julie and Bruce Steiner Tanrydoon Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation William Voedisch and Laurie Carlson Charles Allen Ward Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation Nancy and Ted Weyerhaeuser

Terry Carlson and Jeanette Leehr* Wanda and David Cline Debra Cohen and Larry Lamb* Jeff and Barb Couture Mrs. Thomas M. Crosby Sr. Wendy and Jeff Danke Fran Davis Judson Dayton Ruth and Bruce Dayton Claire and Jack Dempsey John and Maureen Drewitz, in memory of Helen Hines Ester and John Fesler Mr. and Mrs. John Forsythe Salvatore Silvestri Franco Patricia R. Freeburg James and Mary Frey Terence Fruth and Mary McEvoy Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Bradley A. Fuller and Elizabeth Lincoln David and Kathy Galligan

Cecilie and Emanuel Gaziano* Lloyd and Mary Ann Gerlach Dick and Mary Geyerman Lois and Larry Gibson Howard and Heidi Gilbert Amy R. and Philip S. Goldman Foundation Michael and Elizabeth Gorman Sarah and Joe Green Clark and Sima Griffith The Hackensack Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation Rosalie Heffelfinger Hall Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Drs. Greg and Angie Hatfield Don Helgeson John and Rosmarie Helling Cliffton K. Hill and Jennifer Woolford Diane Hoey John and Jean McGough Holten Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Horowitz

Andrew and Margaret Houlton Bill and Hella Mears Hueg Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hull Ekdahl Hutchinson Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Chuck Jakeway and Theresa Williams Jakeway James Jelinek and Marilyn Wall Linda Johnson Samuel L. Kaplan and Sylvia Chessen Kaplan Dr. Markle Karlen E. Robert and Margaret V. Kinney Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Kenneth Kixmoeller and Kim Otness Julie and Steve Klapmeier Mr. and Mrs. William Kling Gerard Knight Lisa C. Kochiras Maria Kochiras Robert Kriel and Linda Krach

The Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of HRK Foundation* Warren and Patricia Kelly* Mary Bigelow McMillan Elizabeth and Andrew Redleaf

Silver $10,000–$14,999

Camerata Circle Platinum $7,500–$9,999 Anonymous Rusty and Burt Cohen David Hanson and William Biermaier Sharon and Bill Hawkins Nelson Family Foundation Timothy and Gayle Ober Connie and Lew Remele Virginia L. and Edward C. Stringer

Gold $5,000-$7,499 Anonymous (2) Eric and Tracy Aanenson Martha Goldberg Aronson and Daniel Aronson Martha and Bruce Atwater Daniel and Christine Buss Kathleen and William Callahan Rachelle Dockman Chase Cleveland Foundation Dr. James E. and Gisela Corbett The Denny Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation David and Vanessa Dayton Mary Lee Dayton Doerr Family Fund Chip and Vicki Emery Brad and Diane England Tom and Lori Foley Mr. and Mrs. John Forsythe Connie Fladeland and Steve Fox

Denver and Nicole Gilliand Meg and Wayne Gisslen* Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Karen and John Himle Bryce and Paula Johnson Erwin and Miriam Kelen Michael F. and Gretchen G. Kelly and the Kelly Family Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Donald Lucker Ms. Becky Malkerson Ted and Roberta Mann Foundation Diana and Joe Murphy Elizabeth Musser Trust—Fir Tree Fund Albin and Susan Nelson Dwight D. Opperman* Brian and Julia Palmer Debra J. Paterson Mary Ingebrand Pohlad Stephanie Prem and Tom Owens Redleaf Family Foundation* Fred and Gloria Sewell Kevin and Lynn Smith The Staryk Family Foundation Mitchell and Kendall Stover Mr. and Mrs. James Swartz Catie Tobin and Brian Naas

Silver $2,500–$4,999

Artist Circle




Anonymous (4) Floyd Anderson Paula A. Anderson John Andrus, III Nina and John Archabal Satoru and Sheila Asato Mr. and Mrs. Edmund P. Babcock Ruth and Dale Bachman Dr. Thomas and Ann Bagnoli James Baldwin and Mary Atmore Dr. Donna L. Block Mrs. Paul G. Boening Margee and Will Bracken* Jan and Ellen Breyer Judith and Arnold Brier Conley Brooks Family Elwood F. and Florence A. Caldwell Bruce and Deanna Carlson Joan and George Carlson Joe and Judy Carlson


Annual Fund


Artist Circle (continued) Helen L. Kuehn Anita Kunin Mark and Elaine Landergan Carl Lee and Linda Talcott Lee Susan Lenthe Sid and Diane Levin Michael and Diane Levy Sy and Ginny Levy Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Jerry and Joyce Lillquist Bill Long Dawn M. Loven Dr. W. Richard and Lois Marsh Margery Martin Roy and Dorothy Ann Mayeske

Charles McCrossan Samuel and Patricia McCullough Sheila McNally Drs. Mary and Joseph Meland William Messerli Anne W. Miller Sandy and Bob Morris Elizabeth B. Myers Susan Okie Allegra W. Parker Karen B. Paul William and Suzanne Payne James J. Phelps and Nancy McGlynn Phelps Sally and George Pillsbury

Drs. James and Constance Pries Kevin and Sara Ramach Elin and Tim Raymond Frances and George Reid Kit Reynolds and Mike Schwimmer John and Sandra Roe Thomas D. and Nancy J. Rohde Gordon and Margaret Rosine Mr. and Mrs. Steven Rothschild Mrs. John C. Rowland Leland T. Lynch and Terry Saario Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Patty and Barney Saunders Jim Scarpetta Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Schindler

The Harriet and Edson Spencer Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation Stanislaw and Krystyna Skrowaczewski Jeff and Helene Slocum Don and Leslie Stiles Robert and Barbara Struyk James and Susan Sullivan Henry and Virginia Sweatt Michael Symeonides Mr. and Mrs. George H. Tesar Lois and Lance Thorkelson Emily Anne and Gedney Tuttle Robert Harding and Allan Valgemae Mr. and Mrs. Philip Von Blon Ellen M. Wells

Gerald and Sarah Caruso Paul Cavall Bruce and Ann Christensen Joann M. D. Cierniak J.P. Collins Edward Conway and Kathleen Jerde Bill and Kate Cullen Amos and Sue Deinard Mr. Steven A. Diede Joyce and Hugh Edmondson Brad and Diane England Herbert and Betty Fantle Catherine C. Finch Donald and Gail Fiskewold David Gilberstadt Dr. Stanley M. and Luella G. Goldberg Alan and Lynn Goldbloom Robert Goodell and Renee Brown Paul and Margot Grangaard Deanne and John Greco Marjorie and Joseph Grinnell Bruce and Jean Grussing Roger L. Hale and Nor Hall Ruth E. Hanold Frederick J. Hey Jr. Franz and Jeannie Hofmeister Joe and Nancy Holmberg Thomas Hunt & John Wheelihan David and Sally Hyslop Diane and Paul Jacobson Andrzej and Urszula Jaworski

Mrs. Owen Jenkins Dr. and Mrs. Charles R. Jorgensen Jane and Jim Kaufman Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation Jessie L. Kelly Carole and Joseph Killpatrick John C. Kim Steve and Jolie Klapmeier Shannon Krygiel and David Keller Charlie and Sally Lannin Roy and Mary Letourneau Jonathan and Lisa Lewis Rebecca Lindholm Joan E. Madden Donald and Rhoda Mains Tom and Marsha Mann Robert and Catherine McGeachie Dr. and Mrs. William W. McGuire L. David Mech Orpha McDiarmid Family Fund Charles and Victoria Mogilevsky Mr. John Murphy Theresa and Jim Murray Lucia Newell Lowell and Sonja Noteboom Bradley Nuss Dennis R. Olson Mr. and Mrs. G. Richard Palen Dan and Pat Panshin Kern and Kathryn Peterson Elsie L. Quam

Dan and Kari Rasmus Lawrence M. Redmond Ann M. Rock Liane A and Richard G. Rosel Janet and Bill Schaeder Janet Schalk James Schell Mahlon and Karen Schneider Marcia and Stephen Schultz Janet and Irving Shapiro Peter and Bonnie Sipkins Jim and Cindie Smart Clifford C. and Virginia G. Sorensen Daniel J. Spiegel Jon Y. Spoerri Warren Stortroen Roxanne Stouffer and Joseph Cruz Joanne Strakosch and William Umscheid Dana and Stephen Strand Brian and Mia Sullivan Cindy Vilks Will and Li Volk Elaine B. Walker The Wallin Foundation David M. and Mary Ann Barrows Wark James and Sharon Weinel Lani Willis and Joel Spoonheim Christine Wolohan

Patron Circle Gold $750–$999 Joe Dowling and Siobhan Cleary James and Debra Lakin Cheryl Kreofsky and Michael Fitzgerald Joan and Richard Newmark Paula Patineau James and Andrea Rubenstein Keith and Catherine Stevenson Frank and Frances Wilkinson

Silver $500–$749 Anonymous (2) Genevive Antonello Woodbury H. and Cynthia Andrews Quentin and Mary Anderson Jamie Andrews and Jane Kolp-Andrews Satoru and Sheila Asato Mrs. Gordon J. Bailey Fred Amram and Sandra Brick Ruth and Dale Bachman James and Gail Bakkom Donald and Naren Bauer Mrs. Harvey O Beek Barbara S. Belk Sue A. Bennett Gerald and Phyllis Benson Michael and Paige Bingham Fred and Carolyn Bogott Marvin and Betty Borman Foundation Thomas and Joyce Bruckner Patrick and Kirsten Burton

*Includes Gala Fund-a-Dream support.

Estate AND Planned Gifts The Minnesota Opera thanks the following donors who, through their foresight and generosity, have included the Opera in their wills or estate plans. We invite you to join other opera-lovers by leaving a legacy gift to The Minnesota Opera. If you have already made such a provision, we encourage you to notify us that so we may appropriately recognize your generosity. For more information on possible gift arrangements, please contact Dawn Loven, Director of the Annual Fund, at 612-342-9567. Your attorney or financial advisor can then help determine which methods are most appropriate for you. Paul Froeschl Robert and Ellen Green Ieva Grundmanis (†) Norton M. Hintz Jean McGough Holten Charles Hudgins Dale and Pat Johnson Robert and Susan Josselson Mrs. Markle Karlen (†) Steve Keller Mary Keithahn Blaine and Lyndel King

Gretchen Klein (†) Bill and Sally Kling Gisela Knoblauch (†) Mr. and Mrs. James Krezowski Robert Kriel and Linda Krach Robert Lawser, Jr. Jean Lemberg (†) Gerald and Joyce Lillquist Mary Bigelow McMillan Margaret L. and Walter S. (†) Meyers Edith Mueller (†) Scott Pakudiatis

Sydney and William Phillips Mrs. Berneen Rudolph Mary Savina Frank and Lynda Sharbrough Andrew H. Stewart, Jr. Barbara and Robert Struyk James and Susan Sullivan Gregory C. Swinehart Stephanie Van D’Elden Mary Vaughan Dale and Sandra Wick

These lists are current as of January 1, 2007, and include donors who gave gifts of $500 or more to The Minnesota Opera Fund since July 1, 2004. If your name is not listed appropriately, please accept our apologies, and call Megan Stevenson, Individual Gifts Associate, at 612-342-9569.


Anonymous (2) Mary A. Andres Mr. and Mrs. Rolf Andreassen Karen Bachman Mark and Pat Bauer Barbara and Sandy Bemis (†) Darlene J. and Richard P. Carroll Judy and Kenneth (†) Dayton Mrs. George Doty Rudolph Driscoll (†) Sally Economon Ester and John Fesler

(†) Deceased




Corporations and Foundations Sponsors $25,000+ 3M Ameriprise Financial The Bush Foundation FAF Advisors General Mills Foundation The MAHADH Fund of HRK Foundation The McKnight Foundation OPERA America’s Opera Fund St. Paul Travelers Target Foundation U.S. Bancorp Foundation U.S. Bank, Private Client Group Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota

Platinum $10,000-$24,999 Allianz Life Insurance of North America Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation Cargill Foundation Deloitte Deluxe Corporation Foundation Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Ecolab Foundation Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Anna M. Heilmaier Charitable Foundation Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management The Medtronic Foundation MTS Corporation BNSF Foundation Piper Ja∂ray RBC Dain Rauscher Foundation SpencerStuart SUPERVALU Stores, Inc. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation Twin Cities Opera Guild U. S. Trust Company Wenger Foundation

Gold $5,000-$9,999 ADC Telecommunications Bemis Company Foundation Boss Foundation Briggs and Morgan Caldrea Company Education Minnesota Foundation Faegre & Benson R. C. Lilly Foundation

Northern Trust Onan Family Foundation Pentair Foundation Carl and Eloise Pohlad Foundation Rahr Foundation Squam Lake Foundation Schwegman, Lundberg, Woessner & Kluth, PA Valspar Foundation Xcel Energy Foundation

$100,000 +


Silver $2,500-$4,999 Dellwood Foundation Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Hutter Family Foundation Alice M. O’Brien Foundation The Elizabeth C. Quinlan Foundation Margaret Rivers Fund M&I Bank Parsinen, Kaplan, Rosberg & Gotlieb PA Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Sewell Family Foundation Tennant Foundation

$50,000 – $99,999

Bronze $1,000-$2,499 Arts & Custom Publishing Co., Inc. Best Buy Children’s Foundation Brock-White Co., LLC Burdick-Craddick Family Foundation Digital Excellence, Inc. Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. Hardenbergh Foundation The Hays Companies Hogan & Hartson Leonard, Street & Deinard Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand Mayo Clinic McVay Foundation Lawrence M. and Elizabeth Ann O’Shaughnessy Charitable Income Trust Peregrine Capital Management The Regis Foundation Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Securian Foundation The Southways Foundation Charles B. Sweatt Foundation Tozer Foundation The Wood-Rill Foundation

Government City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR Program Minnesota State Arts Board National Endowment for the Arts

Minnesota Opera Sponsors Opening Night Gala Sponsors

FAF Advisors and U.S. Bank

Target Okabena Advisors U.S. Bank


Season Sponsor Production Sponsors

Conductor Appearances

YPG Opera Nights Out Official Venue


Matty B’s Supper Club

Camerata Dinners and Meet the Artists

Official Florist


Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management

Wisteria Design Studio

La donna del lago, FAF Advisors and U.S. Bank The Tales of Hoffmann, Target The Grapes of Wrath, Ameriprise Financial (national presenting sponsor), Ruth and John Huss, The Shen Family Foundation, The Carlyle Fund and Seaver Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, OPERA America; media sponsors: Comcast, Star Tribune, WCCO Radio Lakmé, Ameriprise Financial The Marriage of Figaro, Wells Fargo

The Minnesota Opera gratefully acknowledges its major corporate supporters:

Opera Insights Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation

Production Innovation System General Mills

Promotional Support Minnesota Monthly

RAP Teaching Artists Wenger Foundation

$25,000 – $49,999

$10,000 – $24,999



“Korean soprano dazzles.” – The New York Times

Youngok Shin in Lakmé, courtesy Baltimore Opera Company. Photo by Stan Barouh Photography.

Cultures collide in Léo Delibes’ MYSTICAL and SUMPTUOUS tale of ill-fated love. Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, falls hopelessly in love with the British officer Gérald, who, unwittingly breaking a sacred taboo, seals their fate. A 19th-century romantic treasure that was once a star vehicle for Lily Pons at the Met, Lakmé was originally directed by Adam Cook and designed by Mark Thompson in a spectacular production for Opera Australia that brings the color and exoticism of Imperial India to Minnesota for the first time.

Sung in French with English translations projected above the stage. Lakmé is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial. March 31 (7:30 pm), April 1 (2:00 pm), April 3, 5, 7 (7:30 pm)

Tickets are now available online at or by calling 612-333-6669.



“It’s a thrill to introduce Youngok Shin to Minnesota Opera audiences,” said Artistic Director Dale Johnson. “This brilliant soprano from Korea has been a leading lyric coloratura of the Metropolitan Opera for more than ten seasons, appearing in major tour-de-force roles like Gilda in Rigoletto, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and Elvira in I puritani. She’s one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the role of Lakmé. Her silvery, alluring voice is perfect for this 19th-century French repertoire, and I think she will be embraced by our audience.”




Young Professionals Group 2006-2007 Events Calendar Great opera seats and events for the 20s & 30s crowd








Opera Nights Out Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007, 7:30 pm: The Grapes of Wrath Saturday, Apr. 7, 2007, 7:30 pm: Lakmé Saturday, May 12, 2007, 7:30 pm: The Marriage of Figaro


email, call 612-333-6669 or download a membership form at

Cultivating a new generation of opera-goers in the Twin Cities The Young Professionals Group is a membership program for both new and veteran opera-goers in their 20s and 30s. For only $30, YPG membership entitles you to priority access to YPG events and the steepest ticket discount the Opera offers–a pair of $30 Opera Night Out seats (a savings of up to $62 per ticket!) for each opera, which includes a post-party following the performance. Matty B’s Super Club is the official venue for Opera Nights Out


they help with Rosasharn’s birthing and Al becomes affianced to their daughter Aggie) and others in between, she comes to realize that she has traversed from “fambly fust” to “anybody.” Ma passes the mantle to her daughter in a passage to womanhood – the piercing of ears. For her part, the previously whiney and selfish Rosaharn begins to transform on her own, looking beyond the needs of her diminished immediate family (does she intend to complete the task by inducing a miscarriage, picking cotton in her eighth month after learning of Aggie and Al’s happy engagement?), culminating in her assistance to a starving man, with Madonna poise and a Mona Lisa smile. An unclimactic, enigmatic ending occurs after a long and suspenseful final chapter, with a cleansing flood leaving the remaining Joads at their most desperate, but also undefeated, with a promising future in the wider realm of a united human race. ❚ 1

Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath edited by Robert DeMott. New York: Viking Press, Inc.. © 1989.


The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck. San Francisco News, © 1936.


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. New York: Viking Press, Inc., © 1939.


and again by the blunt force of a bully who doesn’t understand his teachings, his final words a minor modification of Christ’s: “You don’ know what you’re adoin’.”3 Developing a socialist agenda that gives way to strike and unionization, Casy imagines the new world as a brotherhood of equals rather than a hierarchy of oppressor and the oppressed. Tom, while isolated in his womblike cave, germinates on these ideals (“He talked a lot. Used ta bother me. But now I been thinkin’ what he said, an I can remember – all of it.”3) After Ruthie reveals his crime to her playmates, Tom goes out on his own to become Casy’s successor in a mission to bring together a larger community (his role as the new saviour presaged by his prison nickname “Jesus Meek”), preaching socialism as an alternative to faith. Contradicting its Biblical overtones, The Grapes of Wrath seems to recognize the futility of religion in favor of a greater collective organism. Ma Joad, the pagan earth mother, who views women as “all one flow, like a stream … [that] goes right on … [and] ain’t gonna die out,”3 experiences her own independent growth in this regard just as the patriarch Pa is pushed aside in the familial pecking order. At first, she is fiercely devoted to keeping their unity intact, to the exclusion of any reason. But through exchanges with the Wilsons (absent in the opera, they help care for, then bury Grampa), then the Wainwrights (for simplicity’s sake, also eliminated from the opera – boxcar neighbors,





The Schubert Club Museum of Musical Instruments 1542 Italian spinet

Landmark Center 75 West Fifth Street Downtown Saint Paul Lower Level & Second Floor 1790 letter from Mozart

Free Admission Monday through Friday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 PM

The Schubert Club

Early Music Series The Bach Society of Minnesota Bach Brandenburg Concertos Saturday, February 10, 8 PM • Sundin Music Hall

Ensemble Caprice Les Sept Sauts: Baroque Chamber Music at the Court of Stuttgart Saturday, March 18, 3 PM • Sundin Music Hall

David Breitman, fortepiano Friday, April 27, 8 PM • The Music Room, SPCO Center • 651-292-3268

Minnesota Opera's The Grapes of Wrath Program  
Minnesota Opera's The Grapes of Wrath Program  

2006-2007 Season