The Peabody Chamber Opera
An operatic adaptation by Conrad Susa
of the poems by Anne Sexton
JoAnn Kulesza, music director
conducting a chamber instrumental ensemble
Jennifer Blades, stage director and designer
Douglas Nelson, lighting designer
Friday and Saturday, February 19 & 20, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21, 2010, at 3:00 p.m.
Theatre Project, 45 West Preston Street, Baltimore
Admission $25 / Seniors $15 / Students with ID $10
Tickets available from Theatre Project
or call 410/752–8558
Shortly before she took her own life in 1975, poet Anne Sexton collaborated with composer Conrad Susa in bringing her collection, Transformations, to the musical stage. Her sources were the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, familiar and not so familiar. Why “Transformations”? Sexton’s characters, like their originals, are transformed by the powers of magic, whether good or more frequently malevolent. The stories themselves are transformed to reflect the flip contemporary sensibility of the television sitcom and the movies. On a deeper level yet, Transformations refers to the many aspects of being a woman, and in particular to the tormented struggle with her own demons that formed the script for Anne Sexton’s life and the key to her death. Fittingly, for Sexton herself used to tour with a rock band, Conrad Susa’s music refers to a wide range of popular styles, yet he has moments of ravishing lyricism that are entirely operatic. This is an entirely new production of a work last presented by the Peabody in 1999.
A Feminist Far from Grimm: Anne Sexton and her Transformations. Illustrated essay by Roger Brunyate, giving more information about the background of the opera.