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Ricky Ian Gordon (b.1956): A Coffin Egypt / Frederica von Stade, David Matranga, Caroly Johnson, Cecilia Duarte. Houston Grand Opera

Album Summary

>Gordon, Ricky I. : A Coffin in Egypt, chamber opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Continuing its tradition of commissioning new operas, the Houston Grand Opera gives the world premiere recording of A Coffin in Egypt by Ricky Ian Gordon. Based on Texan playwright Horton Foote's single-character play, A Coffin in Egypt possesses all of the depth and lyricism of grand opera. The libretto by Leonard Foglia and music by Ricky Ian Gordon offer the essence of opera's disarming intimacy. Set in Egypt, Texas, the triple-entendre title is of symbolic significance to believers and Bible scholars, with the final reference to a literal journey taken by Myrtle, the 90-year-old character in the opera. The emotional journey of this opera takes us through our common experiences of joy, pain and the accepting peace of forgiveness. The incomparable Frederica von Stade was lured out of retirement to take on the leading tour-de-force role.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
I is decent. II is relatively straightforward, probably the best movement in the performance. III has odd rhetorical touches. IV starts with a tempo that makes it sound like old-fashioned cartoon music. In Bruckner at least, Venzago seems to have a wide-ranging imagination. The orchestral playing is fine and the sound is great. With performances of this work by Karajan, Kubelik, Wand, Haitink, Furtwangler, and a host of other giants in the catalog.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Houston Grand Opera, Worthem Theater Center (2014-03-14&2014-03-16&2014-).


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Works Details

>Gordon, Ricky I. : A Coffin in Egypt, chamber opera
  • Performers: Cecilia Duarte (Voice); Carolyn Johnson (Voice); David Matranga (Voice); Adam Noble (Voice); Frederica Von Stade (Voice)
  • Conductor: Timothy Myers
  • Ensemble: Houston Grand Opera Ensemble
  • Notes: Houston Grand Opera, Worthem Theater Center (2014-03-14&2014-03-16&2014-)
  • Running Time: 77 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas