Speaking of great American operas, Tobias Picker has written two of them; Emmeline, which is an unqualified masterpiece, and An American Tragedy, which I think history will regard more dearly than its contemporary reviews might suggest.  Between those two landmarks, Picker wrote a kind of “forgotten” opera called Thérèse Raquin, an epic based on the Zola novel which, like Tragedy, involves an unwanted lover being chucked overboard in favor of a more attractive alternative.  Picker’s psychiatrist, if he has one, could probably make something of that.

Thérèse Raquin premiered at The Dallas Opera in 2001 and is now having its New York premiere run, in a revised chamber version prepared by Picker, from Dicapo Opera Theatre.

The opera has three more performances this coming weekend: Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 25, at 4 p.m. Dicapo Opera Theatre is located at 184 East 76th Street in Manhattan, just off Lexington Avenue and directly underneath St. Jean-Baptiste Church. 

I haven’t seen Thérèse Raquin yet and don’t have any critical guidance to offer but Picker is one of the very best American opera composers and his music is never less than compelling.  Get on down to Dicapo this weekend.

Here’s a message from Rama Gottfried:


at last!  here it is. tomorrow night::

::envelopes for orchestra::
5 minutes of mercury wobbling in space for a 57 piece orchestra
+ and a stacked concert of works by my extremely talented friends at
the manhattan school of music

friday, 2.23.07 –  7:30p
borden auditorium, manhattan school of music
122nd/Broadway (take 1 train to 116(downhill walk) or 125(uphill))

it will be good, you should come.

*** don’t forget to sit in the balcony, it sounds best from there.
the stairs are just as you enter the hall on both sides.


high 5s to all,






2 Responses to “Man (or Woman) Overboard! Tobias Picker’s Back in Town”
  1. Henry Holland says:

    I missed his Fantastic Mr. Fox when they did it here in Los Angeles (is that the only production so far?). My friends that went were very disappointed with it, after the success of Emmeline. Thanks for the reminder of that opera, I’d forgotten there was a recording of the Santa Fe production on Albany, I’ll have to seek it out.

    Too bad An American Tragedy got bumped from the Met schedule in 2008/09 so that they can make more money, erm, do a revival of the very poor Last Emperor.

  2. David Salvage says:

    Good luck, you MSM-ers. My experience with the Composers Orchestra was good. My piece was mediocre. I’ll never forget it.