Review – by Jeremy Beck

A group of friends and acquaintances gather for a cocktail party and start a vapid discussion. Ultimately, it is revealed that this party from hell turns out to be literally from hell, and the party-goers are actually dead, engaging in a review of their trivial lives.

Commissioned by Long Leaf Opera (NC), Review is Beck’s seventh opera. The libretto is by Patricia Marx, based on a satire originally written by Ms. Marx for The New Yorker. Review was one of three finalists in the 2010 National Opera Association’s New Chamber Opera Competition and was previously included in the 2009 OPERA America and Houston Grand Opera New Works Sampler. Following that successful showcase, Review was given its New York premiere by the Center for Contemporary Opera and has been produced across the country.

Beck’s music has been described as ”unabashedly tonal, rhythmically intricate, … mak[ing] nods to the past while sitting squarely in the present.” (NewMusicBox, 2012). A finalist in the Utah Arts Festival competition for the 2013 Chamber Music Commission and awarded Second Prize in the Boston Chamber Orchestra’s 2011-2012 Commission Competition, Beck is also a practicing attorney in Louisville, Kentucky. His orchestra and chamber music is available on the Innova label. You can find Jeremy’s music at www.BeckMusic.org

Librettist Patricia Marx’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, and the Atlantic Monthly. Her book, Him Her Him Again The End of Him, is published by Scribner and was a runner-up for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. She has also written for television; her credits include Saturday Night Live and Rugrats. Patricia Marx is neither the Patricia Marx married to Daniel Ellsberg, who changed history when he released the Pentagon Papers; nor is she the ravishing young Brazilian singer Patricia Marx whose popular albums contain a blend of hip hop, funk, Bossa Nova, and even some great make-out music. She would like to be mistaken for either of these women.

New Fangled Cast

Soprano 1 – Lesley DeMartin
Soprano 2 – Vickie Thomas
Soprano 3 – Catherine Devoe
Mezzo-Soprano – Brindley McWhorter
Tenor 1 – Phillip McMullen
Tenor 2 – Aaron Pouncey
Beritone – Benjamin Hall

Director – Josh Shaw