A novel about opera will itself become an opera

March 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm (books, Music, opera)

I was delighted to read in this morning’s papers of the coming convergence of two of my favorite art forms.

At Chicago’s Lyric Opera, preparations are now in hand to transform Ann Patchett’s marvelous novel Bel Canto into an opera.  The project was conceived by renowned soprano Renee Fleming, who since 2010 has served as the Lyric Opera’s creative consultant. Jimmy Lopez, a native of Peru, has been chosen as composer.

Jimmy Lopez

(This would seem an especially apt selection, as the novel’s action takes place in that country.) The libretto will be written by playwright Nilo Cruz.

Nilo Cruz

And this is very exciting news: the lead role of the singer Roxanne Coss is to be sung by Danielle de Niese, whose work in the Met’s Enchanted Island was so superb.

Danielle de Niese

Bel Canto is scheduled for performance during the Lyric Opera’s 2015-2016 season.

Andrew Davis, the Lyric Opera's music director, Renee Fleming, and Ann Patchett

Click here and here for articles about Bel Canto in Chicago. (I wrote about Renee Fleming and Ann Patchett in my review of the latter’s novel State of Wonder.)


Fortunate are those folks who live in the Windy City and can partake of its rich and varied cultural offerings. You know – folks like these:

My granddaughter Etta, daughter-in-law Erica, and son Ben

1 Comment

  1. kathy d. said,

    Now I ask, can a child be too cute? The cute-o-meter just went off the top. I hope there are lots of photos of this period of time, but she looks like she’ll be happy and fun for years — at least until she hits 14 (my friends tell me of sweet nieces until that age hits). Have lots of fun with her.

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