Costanzo, Tines, and Sharon debut George Lewis' The Comet in LA

Costanzo, Tines, and Sharon debut George Lewis' The Comet in LA
The Comet Poppea

Drawing on Du Bois’s own concept of ‘double consciousness,’ the opera is structured around a number of these doublings: points of repetition or intersection that underscore the dialogue between the two works and the relevance of that dialogue today.

- George Lewis

George Lewis and Douglas Kearney’s new 60-minute chamber opera The Comet receives its World Premiere June 14-23 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Commissioned by the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC*), The Comet is scored for voices and ensemble, with a cast featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Davóne Tines, and Kiera Duffy; Yuval Sharon directs and Marc Lowenstein conducts.

The opera draws on DuBois’s 1924 science fiction story about a Black man and a white woman, who are the only survivors of an apocalyptic comet impact. In its premiere run, The Comet is performed as a double bill with Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea from 1643, unfolding among the social divisions of ancient Rome. Drawing on DuBois’s concept of “double consciousness,” the piece explores exclusion in classical music by creating what director Yuval Sharon calls “an uneasy tessellation between the Baroque and the contemporary.” The production is presented on a turntable in two halves on which the two operas unfold simultaneously "inviting associations, dissociations, collisions, and confluences."

The Comet / Poppea is produced by Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan, The Industry, AMOC*, and Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to the performance presentations, a program of public talks featuring members of the cast and creative team will take place during the run of the show. The production returns at Philadelphia’s 23rd Street Armory (performed by Curtis Opera Theatre) in November. 

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