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Jack Beeson: Hello Out There; Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth

Album Summary

>Beeson, Jack : Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth, opera
>Beeson, Jack : Hello Out There, opera
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

As Susan Hackshaw points out in her notes, Jack Beeson is primarily known for his large scale opera, Lizzy Borden, premiered and revived by the New York City Opera. But actually five of Beeson's ten operas are chamber operas because of the scale of the story. The two operas on this recording fall into this category. They are gems of vocal beauty, formal construction and evocative musical writing that deserve wider recognition and a fresh performance. They stand as major contributions to the corpus of 20th century American opera. More than 30 years separate these two operas: Hello Out There, written when Beeson was 32, was premiered in 1954 and Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth, written with librettist Sheldon Harnick, was premiered in 1978.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Hello Out There is an earlier work, from 1953. Based on William Saroyan, it is a work in two parts telling the story of a wrongly accused rapist sent to prison who befriends a female cook. They make plans to escape to San Francisco, but before they can leave the husband of the wronged woman arrives, argues with the protagonist, and kills him. There are clear musical characterizations, and the piece is considerably more listenable and more moving than the other work on the program. These are characters one can sympathize with, and John Reardon and Leyna Gabriele sing with passion and clarity.


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Works Details

>Beeson, Jack : Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth, opera
  • Performers: Alfred Anderson (Voice); Miranda Beeson (Voice); Judith Christin (Mezzo Soprano); Grayson Hirst (Tenor); Robert Shiesley (Voice); Carol Wilcox (Voice)
  • Conductor: Thomas Martin
  • Ensemble: Columbia Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Beeson, Jack : Hello Out There, opera
  • Performers: Leyna Gabriele (Soprano); John Reardon (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Frederic Waldman
  • Running Time: 17 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 07/1954-10/1954