Earplay, San Francisco’s premier new music ensemble, joins RealOpera in announcing the premiere production of a major new chamber opera,
HOWARDS END, AMERICA
composed by Allen Shearer on a libretto by Claudia Stevens.
Three performances, Feb. 22-24, 2019 at Z_Space in San Francisco.
This riveting story of betrayal, race and real estate transports E. M. Forster’s Howards End from Edwardian England to 1950’s Boston. With powerful imagery and ravishing music, the opera evokes the atmosphere of an earlier time in America, but a time as divided over race and class as it is today. Audiences will meet two sisters: the kind but cautious Margaret and the younger Helen, an impulsive social activist with camera in hand. What damage will they cause, and what romantic entanglements will befall them, when they set out to become the patrons of gifted black poet Leonard?
HOWARDS END, AMERICA features a cast of seven of the novel’s main characters. They are portrayed by opera luminaries accompanied by a chamber orchestra of Earplayers and guests under resident conductor Mary Chun. This first-ever opera on the great Forster novel will be a highlight of Earplay’s 2018-2019 season.
Leading the all-star cast are Nikki Einfeld as Margaret Schlegel, Philip Skinner as Henry Wilcox, Sara Duchovnay as Helen Schlegel, Michael Dailey as Leonard Bast, and Daniel Cilli as Charles Wilcox.
In February, 2017 West Edge Opera presented scenes from the third act of Howards End, America in Berkeley and San Francisco. Allen and Claudia discuss the opera-in-progress: