The Mother of Us All
Music by Virgil Thomson
Libretto by Gertrude Stein
November 11, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - January 19, 2018 @ 8:00 pm
Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, in partnership with The Millay Colony for the Arts, marks the centenary of Women’s Suffrage and the reopening of New York State’s oldest surviving theater with a new production of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s 1947 opera, The Mother of Us All.
The New York Times has called it "one of the most entertaining and yet most pertinent operas composed in our century" and a "charmingly pungent masterpiece whose full value has probably yet to be realized."
When & where
November 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 2017 @ 4pm
Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House, 327 Warren Street, Hudson
New York State
Tickets start at $25
This production of The Mother of Us All is conceived as an ambitious, site-specific town meeting by the daring young opera director R. B. Schlather (born and raised in Cooperstown, NY, Schlather first saw The Mother of Us All at Glimmerglass Opera as a 12-year old boy in 1998). Schlather is a rising star among directors who are staging opera in new and often radically different contexts. He is known for his ability to not only shed light on the work itself, but on the audience's own involvement as observers and participants in what could be seen as a communal ritual.
Schlather has cast over 30 locals from the Hudson Valley for the opera's many roles and instrumental ensemble. Mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens stars as Susan B. Anthony, depicting Anthony's life-long fight to gain voting privileges and civil rights for women in the United States. M
Schlather’s collaborators include music director Tony Kieraldo, costume designer Marsha Ginsberg, and his longtime lighting designer JAX Messenger. His dramaturg is Joan Retallack, the distinguished Gertrude Stein scholar and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor Emerita of Humanities at Bard College. Retallack, in partnership with the Millay Colony, will conduct a four-day multidisciplinary workshop with Perfect Ten, a teen empowering after-school program for underserved girls in Hudson. Retallack will work with the young women to explore Susan B. Anthony’s legacy, early feminism and Gertrude Stein’s primary works.
Hailing from Cooperstown, NY, and now a Hudson resident, director R. B. Schlather has been nationally and internationally recognized for his experimentation with form and access, and has been described as “having a gift for drawing out vivid performances” (The New York Times) and an “ability to demolish the barriers of propriety and politeness that seem to plague much of traditional operatic experience” (Opera Today). In February this year, Schlather directed a critically acclaimed production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomicfor Curtis Opera Theater, and is an artist-in-residence at Williamsburg’s National Sawdust. Recent performances include David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Little Match Girl Passion at The School | Jack Shainman Gallery in Kinderhook, NY; Orlando(2015), named in WXQR NYC’s “Top 10 Pivotal Moments for Opera and Classical Performance 2015”; and Alcina (2014) at Whitebox Art Center. The New York Times' classical music editor Zachary Woolfe hailed these exhibitions as “a gift given to the New York cultural scene.”