Words First: Talking Text in Opera

Roberta Gumbel, Patrick Summers, and Singing About Family

March 08, 2021 Keturah Stickann/Roberta Gumbel/Patrick Summers Episode 32
Words First: Talking Text in Opera
Roberta Gumbel, Patrick Summers, and Singing About Family
Show Notes

In this episode, Keturah ponders the topic of familial protection in opera text, pointing out her recent viewing of Kamala Sankaram and Jerre Dye’s Taking up Serpents at Chicago Opera Theater, as well as other operas that highlight a family relationship.

In her first interview, she speaks with conductor and artistic director of Houston Grand Opera, Patrick Summers, about his love of Engelbert Humperdinck and Adelheid Wette’s Hansel & Gretel, concentrating largely on the Evening Prayer, and the protection that it offers, both in words and music.

In her second interview, she speaks with singer and librettist, Roberta Gumbel, about her recent collaboration with composer, Susan Kander, Driving While Black.  They discuss what it was like to write about worrying about her son as he reached driving age, and how it felt to dramatize and sing about those feelings.

Here are some people and topics that come up in this episode:

Taking Up Serpents at Chicago Opera Theater: https://chicagooperatheater.org/season/serpents
Patrick Summers: https://www.houstongrandopera.org/about-us/people/patrick-summers/
Roberta Gumbel: https://music.ku.edu/roberta-gumbel
Susan Kander: http://susankander.net/
Driving While Black: https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/11/reimagined-for-streaming-dwb-driving-while-black-examines-black-motherhood/
Urban Arias’ Production: http://www.urbanarias.org/performances/driving-while-black/
Anna Deavere Smith: https://www.annadeaveresmith.org/category/about-anna-deavere-smith/
New Morse Code Ensemble: http://www.newmorsecode.com/