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Theodore Morrison

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Oscar (2011)
Text Writer
John Cox & Theodore Morrison
G Schirmer Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Grand Opera
Year Composed
2 Hours 30 Minutes
SATB chorus
S, Ct, T, Bar
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Programme Note
Theodore Morrison Oscar (2011)
First Performance:
July 27, 2013
Santa Fe Opera
Santa Fe, NM

Libretto (English):
John Cox & Theodore Morrison

Cast List:
   ADA LEVERSON: Soprano
   OSCAR WILDE: Countertenor
   WALT WHITMAN: Baritone
   LORD ALFRED (BOSIE) DOUGLAS: silent role (dancer)

View Full Score - Act II

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  • 06 FEB 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Opera Philadelphia

    Other Dates:
    8,11,13 February - Philadelphia, PA
  • 27 JUL 2013
    Oscar World Premiere
    Santa Fe, NM
    Santa Fe Opera
    Kevin Newbury, stage director; Evan Rogister, conductor

    Other Dates:
    31 July; 9,12,17 August - Santa Fe, NM

Now the Santa Fe Opera has unveiled Oscar by Theodore Morrison, a dramatisation of one of the most heartrending strokes of ill-fortune ever to befall a creative artist: Oscar Wilde’s trial and imprisonment for “gross indecency”. The libretto by the composer and the veteran opera director John Cox, which draws heavily on Wilde’s writings, opens as Wilde awaits a verdict and goes on to relate the trial itself; the second of its two fast-moving acts depicts Wilde’s travails in Reading Gaol.The opera is hardly an exercise in gloom, however. Wildean Witticisms run through its text, the trial is depicted sarcastically and in the opera’s most moving moments Wilde’s imprisonment is alleviated by uplifting encounters with prisoners and a warden who befriend him. Lord Alfred Douglas, whose affair with Wilde sparked all the trouble, is inventively portrayed as a dancer.
George Loomis, Financial Times,8/4/2013
Morrison captures the rhythms and inflection of the words in the most natural, grateful vocal lines imaginable. Neo-romantic orchestral writing has a strong cinematic — and sometimes frankly illustrative — quality....Rich in associations, knowingly staged by Kevin Newbury, with David Korins’ evocative sets and apt costumes by David C. Woolard, this is one of the most promising new operas in years.
Scott Cantrell, Dallas News,8/2/2013
As I watched Theodore Morrison’s wonderful new opera, Oscar, last evening here at the Santa Fe Opera, it seemed to me “The Happy Prince” might serve as a metaphor for discussing what I was seeing and hearing. With a strong original libretto written by John Cox, and featuring the incomparable countertenor David Daniels in the title role, this is a powerfully moving opera about a worthy man of genius who suffers much, is very nearly martyred and (in Cox’s vision at least) is ultimately admitted into the pantheon of immortal greatness.…Dealing as it does with themes of intolerance and persecution, Oscar is, to be sure, a story for our time….It is impossible to know just what most opera-goers expect when they come to Santa Fe to see this important new work … What they get is a very serious, almost tragic work with flashes of surreal comedy.
David Gregson,,8/1/2013
Effectively paced across its two acts, with a surprising variety of moods and an easy-to-grasp tonal score, Oscar won a warm reception from the audience.
George Loomis , Musical America,8/1/2013
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