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Allen Shearer's new chamber opera on a libretto by Claudia Stevens brings the novel Middlemarch to the operatic stage in San Francisco.
Allen Shearer's new chamber opera on a libretto by Claudia Stevens brings the novel Middlemarch to the operatic stage in San Francisco.
67 backers pledged $4,706 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Composers, Inc. is thrilled to present this full-length opera featuring leading singers and design artists of the Bay Area. With your help we promise a fascinating evening of contemporary opera at an intimate and lively venue, Z Space in San Francisco. Your donations through Kickstarter are fully tax deductible (Composers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) and will help fund costumes created for our stellar cast by Christine Crook. Note: these will not be mere period gowns and great coats: 

Designer Crook will enhance them throughout with imaginative and exuberant details that enrich the story and characters. 

Middlemarch in Spring is Allen Shearer's fifth opera to date, and his fourth collaboration with librettist Claudia Stevens. For this premiere production our cast includes young opera stars Sara Duchovnay and Daniel Curran and renowned operatic bass-baritone Philip Skinner, with a chamber orchestra of the Bay Area's finest players conducted by Jonathan Khuner. Philip Lowery directs. 

We look forward to seeing you there! Middlemarch in Spring plays March 19-22. Tickets are affordable at $30/$25. Buy on line at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/939808

We, the presenters, along with our fabulous artists thank you for helping make this very exciting project a reality! --Dave Waugh, Executive Director, Composers, Inc.

Three of our cast members pose in a garden in Berkeley. Photo: Jasmin Van T
Three of our cast members pose in a garden in Berkeley. Photo: Jasmin Van T

About the opera: The first-ever opera on George Eliot's great novel, Middlemarch in Spring tells the story of Dorothea Brooke, an idealistic woman who hopes to improve the world. Naively she marries the scholar Casaubon for his “great mind” and is devastated when he turns out to be cold, shallow and not very bright. Will Dorothea have a second chance at happiness with the eminently unsuitable Will Ladislaw? The odds are stacked against her.

Running just under two hours, the opera is in six scenes filled with memorable arias and ensembles. Comic characters offset the more serious story material, and in one outrageous scene the orchestra joins in the action. Matthew Antaky's set provides a fanciful frame for the action, and vivid projections evoke the characters' deepest desires and fears.

Middlemarch in Spring is the result of four years' work by Allen Shearer and Claudia Stevens.

Risks and challenges

When his students expressed their fears, a famous piano teacher would respond, "Don't say it--it might happen!" In opera, a lot can happen, from a singer getting a cold to the set collapsing. Our safety net is the experience, savvy and good will of the entire production family. And you, the Kickstarter donors, are helping us meet the fiscal challenge by providing the costume budget. The show will go on!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Your name appears as a backer in the opera program and on Facebook.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Your name appears as a backer in the opera program and on Facebook, and you receive by US mail a copy of PROGRAM PLUS, an autographed opera program with added pages of commentary and photos from the production.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Your name appears as a backer in the opera program and on Facebook, and you receive by US mail 1) a copy of PROGRAM PLUS, an autographed opera program with added pages of commentary and photos from the production, and 2) a signed copy of the libretto including an excerpt from the orchestral score.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your name appears as a backer in the opera program and on Facebook, and you receive by US mail: 1) a copy of PROGRAM PLUS, 2) an autographed opera program with added pages of commentary and photos from the production, and 3) a signed copy of the libretto including an excerpt from the orchestral score, and a DVD of the entire opera.

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Funding period

- (23 days)