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Center for Contemporary Opera presents HESTER by Richard Alan White SOLD OUT
National Opera Center
New York, NY
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Center for Contemporary Opera presents HESTER by Richard Alan White SOLD OUT
by Richard Alan White
October 12, 2017 8pm
National Opera Center Recital Hall

In 1992, writer Alfred Kazin began an article in The New York Review of Books with what today would seem a startling question: Why is there no opera of The Scarlet Letter? He must not have known Richard Alan White. Mr. White began conceptualizing his opera, Hester, named after the protagonist of Hawthornes classic American novel, in the 1970s. At the time Mr. White began putting pencil to music paper, two major operas had in fact been inspired by The Scarlet Letter: Damroschs 1895 opera and Gianninis in 1938, though neither became household names. To date, Mr. Whites approach to composing this classic is unique. With a focus on Hester Prynne, Mr. White brings a truth to the storys emotional depth.  Ive worked in prisons. I was a NYC caseworker for the Dept. of Social Services and have worked with countless single mothers. Ive known people who have been killed, he said. Hester is not a fantastical melodrama. It is about real life and is more relevant today than ever before.

Richard Alan White, 82, is an emerging composer based in Brooklyn, New York. He has a Master of Arts, Music Composition, from Columbia University, (1957). Both the librettist and the composer of Hester, he is also a trained actor and singer with a long list of acting and singing credits. He studied composition with Robert Starrer, Hall Overton, Jack Beeson, Otto Leuning, and acting with Uta Haagen, Alice Spivak, and Stephen Strimpell. He attended lectures in Darmstadt, Germany with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Olivier Messiaen. This is his first professional performance of any of his works. From New England, he has family roots in Salem, Mass., which is the location of the Custom House in Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter.

Cast and Creative Team

Conductor, Maria Sensi Sellner
Director, Jorinde Keesmaat
Piano, Lucas Barkley
Production Stage Manager, Alexandra Anschutz

Hester, Sarah Miller
Dimmesdale, Todd Wilander
Chillingworth, David Gordon
Wilson, Nathan Baer
Bellingham, Garry McLinn
Beadle, Lars Woodhall
Jailor, Brady DelVecchio
Townspeople, Caitland Mead, Kacey Cardin, Melanie Leinbach, Elisa Nikoloulias, Brady DelVecchio, Gregory Spock, Blake Burroughs


National Opera Center (View)
330 Seventh Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
United States


Arts > Opera

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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