Based on the Novel by Kate Dicamillo
Music by Paola Prestini
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Directed by Eric Simonson
Conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya
Edward Tulane is a toy rabbit who thinks of himself as quite exceptional. Content in his easy life, his world is upturned when he is separated from his loving family. Based on the best-seller by local author Kate DiCamillo, Edward Tulane takes us on a miraculous journey, from the depths of the deep blue sea to the streets of Memphis. Perfect for the young and young at heart, this elegantly whimsical Minnesota original shows us a true miracle—that if you open your heart, you can find home.
Composers Note: (extracted from 21cm)
Edward Tulane is such a good book! It’s so beautiful, and I had the joy of reading it to my son, who has loved the book over the years. It’s like when you read Jacqueline Woodson, it’s for young adults, but there’s nothing “young” about it. The quality, the depth – it’s all there. There are all types of operas, and I happen to love to write works for audiences of all ages. If you take a piece like “Aging Magician,” which is also considered an inter-generational work-it was about creating something from scratch, and there was a set team of collaborators that I chose. For each different project, I ask myself, “What is the family that’s being born out of this collaboration?” “Edward Tulane” has been very different. The workshop process has been incredible – to have this solid-bone structure of an opera company behind it. That’s really positive. Where it’s been different for me is that I’ve always been involved in almost a dramaturgical role. In this process, what unlocked the creativity for me was getting these words from librettist Mark Campbell and trying to find the places where I could break the form. Where can the choir suddenly turn into fish? What do crows sound like, their dissonance and their meanness? So finding these moments of abstraction and moments of deep color where I was able to really play. It sounds funny, but for me to just be the composer – that’s weird! I’m usually involved in everything! I have loved this process and cannot wait to bring Edward’s magic to the stage.
Edward Tulane was a strong season-opener for this company, marking its forty-ninth premiere. Whether this is an opera primarily for children or for adults can be—and probably will be—debated. It can, of course, be both.
Prestini writes wonderfully for the chorus, whether it be Christmas carols in a Victorian style for a small ensemble or wordless choruses in two scenes in Act I. There is so much genuine wit in Campbell’s text—his sixth libretto for Minnesota—and there is such variety in Prestini’s expressive score—that we hop onboard the ride and develop an affection for Edward...