World Premiere - Seattle Opera Commission
Libretto by Gardner McFall
Story by Stephen Wadsworth
Daron Aric Hagen, Composer
Daron Aric Hagen makes his Seattle Opera debut composing the company’s first commissioned work under General Director Speight Jenkins’ tenure, Amelia. The composer of five operas (The Antient Concert, Bandanna, New York Stories, Shining Brow, and Vera of Las Vegas), his catalogue of commissions also includes over 200 published vocal, chamber, and symphonic works—many recorded commercially—for the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, the orchestras of Buffalo, Saint Louis, Virginia, Milwaukee, Albany, and New Mexico, among others, as well as concerti for Gary Graffman, Jaime Laredo, Jeffrey Khaner, and Sharon Robinson. Hagen has been a featured composer at festivals including Tanglewood, Wintergreen, and Aspen and currently serves as artistic director for the Seasons Music Festival. He has served as composer-in-residence with the Princeton Atelier, Long Beach Symphony, and the Denver Chamber Orchestra. A trustee of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera, former president of the Lotte Lehman Foundation, and a lifetime member of the Corporation of Yaddo, Hagen attended Juilliard and the Curtis Institute of Music. Recipient of the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others, Hagen has dedicated the score of Amelia to his son, Atticus.
Gardner McFall, Librettist
Poet Gardner McFall makes her Seattle Opera debut writing the libretto for Daron Aric Hagen’s Amelia. She has published two books of poetry: The Pilot’s Daughter, an elegy for her father who was lost in training for his second tour of duty in Vietnam, and Russian Tortoise. McFall’s poems have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Southwest Review, The Nation, The Sewanee Review, and The Paris Review, among others. She has received a Discovery/The Nation award, and her work in The Missouri Review was awarded the Thomas McAfee prize for poetry. McFall is the author of two children’s books, Jonathan’s Cloud and Naming the Animals. She is the editor of May Swenson’s prose miscellany, Made with Words, and recently wrote the introduction and notes for a new edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. McFall received her M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. from New York University. She teaches in the English department of Hunter College in New York City. She has dedicated the libretto of Amelia to her brother, Dodge McFall Jr.
Stephen Wadsworth, Story Author and Director
Stephen Wadsworth has directed at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Nederlandse Opera, and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Santa Fe. He made his Seattle Opera debut in 1985 with Janáček’s Jenufa and has returned for Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (a co-production with the Met) and Orphée et Eurydice; Handel’s Xerxes; and Wagner’s Lohengrin, Fliegende Holländer, and Ring (2001, 2005, and 2009). Wadsworth recently directed the Aeschylus Agamemnon in Los Angeles and Terrence McNally’s Master Class at the Kennedy Center, and has staged productions of plays by Shakespeare, Molière, Marivaux, Goldoni, Shaw, Wilde, and Coward around the country. Wadsworth wrote the opera A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein, and directed the world premieres of Daron Aric Hagen’s Shining Brow and Peter Lieberson’s Ashoka’s Dream. He has translated a number of works for the stage, including works by Monteverdi, Molière, Handel, Goldoni, and Mozart. Wadsworth is the Head of Dramatic Studies at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and Director of Opera Studies at the Juilliard School, and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.