Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chicago Opera Vanguard presents the Chicago Premiere of Greek

by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer in Residence Mark-Anthony Turnage

Chicago Opera Vanguard - the city’s new home for cutting edge musical theater – continues its inaugural Season Ø with the Chicago premiere of GREEK by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer in Residence Mark-Anthony Turnage. For this modern retelling of the Oedipus myth, COV Artistic Director Eric Reda has gathered an impressive ensemble of singing actors, orchestral musicians and emerging visual artists from across Chicago’s creative community. GREEK’s limited run of 1 preview and 5 performances begins Tuesday June 2 at the St. Paul Cultural Center, 2215 W. North Ave, in Chicago ’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

GREEK is a translation of Oedipus myth into the Thatcher era. The economically depressed East End of London forms the background for the story of “Eddy,” a working class kid who’s who dreams of a better world. Racism, violence and mass unemployment appear as symptoms of a plague of oppression that afflicts the city, and Eddy’s only means of survival is to become a violent skinhead.

Mark-Anthony Turnage is among the most relevant communicators and creators of today. His orchestral and operatic music is often forthright and confrontational, unafraid to mirror the realities of modern life, yet its energy is exhilarating. With his flair for vivid titles, and his complete absorption of jazz elements into a contemporary classical style, Turnage produces work with a strong appeal to an enquiring, often young audience. Born in Britain in 1960, Turnage studied with Oliver Knussen and John Lambert, and later with Gunther Schuller.

With the encouragement of Hans Werner Henze, he wrote his first opera for the Munich Biennale festival, GREEK, which received a triumphant premiere in 1988. The many ensuing productions worldwide established Turnage’s international reputation.

GREEK performs 8PM Thursday June 4, Saturday June 6, Wednesday June 10, Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13, at the St. Paul Cultural Center , 2215 W. North Ave. General Admission is $35 Wednesday & Thursday; $40 Friday & Saturday; Student Admission is $10 all performances. Tickets are available online at www.chicagovanguard.org.

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