This light-hearted opera, composed by Joseph Illick with libretto by Andrea Fellows Fineberg, tells the story of Shakespearean actors and former lovers who have varying degrees of memory loss due to Erasure, a viral pandemic. Separated from Meridian at the beginning of the outbreak, Wyatt has been searching for his love ever since. Exploring themes of memory, connection, and the power of story, UnShakeable incorporates language from some of Shakespeare’s iconic works to create a modern romance. Featuring Jacquelyn Stucker as Meridian and Jarrett Ott as Wyatt.
This program will include a screening of UnShakeable, followed by a discussion of the creation of the work, the enduring power of Shakespeare and the ways in which stories shape memory … and vice versa. Presented by the Santa Fe Opera, Fort Worth Opera, the Melville Hankins Family Foundation and with support from Robert and Ellen Vladem.
Joseph Illick is the Artistic Director of Fort Worth Opera, and is former Executive and Artistic Director of Performance Santa, Artistic Director of the Lake George Opera Festival, as Interim Artistic Director of Greater Miami Opera and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera Theater. He has also conducted for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Carolina, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and many others. As a concert pianist, he won first prize in the Mid-Somerset Festival in Bath, England and he is active both as a piano soloist and in chamber music both in Europe and in the United States. As a composer, he is the recipient of the Van Someren Award for composition of a song cycle. His monodrama Emma was performed on public television and excerpts from his one-act comedy Gunpoint have been performed with orchestra in New Mexico, New York and Washington. He has given hundreds of live presentations to audiences around the United States and in Europe as well as numerous radio programs and television broadcasts on classical and symphonic music.
Andrea Fellows Fineberg has been associated with The Santa Fe Opera for 30 years, serving as Director of Education and Community Programs since 1993. As a librettist Ms. Walters has collaborated with John Kennedy on the opera Trinity and Stephen Paulus on the opera Shoes for the Santo Niño. She wrote UnShakeable with Joseph Illick in commemoration of the Shakespeare 400. Ms. Walters has had the privilege of working with the Academy for the Love of Learning’s Lifesongs since its inception. In 2004 Ms. Walters was recognized by the City of Santa Fe with a Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. For six years she served as a national commissioner to UNESCO and also served as a member of the Obama Arts Policy Committee in 2008 and 2012.
Kathleen Clawson’s multi-faceted career includes directing, education, and performing. Recent highlights include returns to Dayton Opera as stage director for La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, and Salome as well as stage direction of UnShakeable, which toured the Southwest for the Santa Fe Opera. She is the Associate Director of their Apprentice Singer Program and Director of the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera. She directed the world premiere of Shoes for the Santo Niño (music by Stephen Paulus, libretto by Andrea Fellows Walters) for the Santa Fe Opera in 2011 and serves as dramaturg and will be the stage director for Finding Wright (music by Laura Kaminsky, libretto by Andrea Fineberg) commissioned by Dayton Opera, is set to premiere in 2021. Clawson performed nationally as a classical singer and has served on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance of the University of New Mexico since 1997.