- Performance Calendar
David Conte's "Firebird Motel"
Heather Mathews, director
Curt Pajer, conductor
David Yezzi, librettist
SFCM voice students
Excerpt from SF Chronicle review, November 19th, 2003:
It isn't every day that a theater company commissions and opens a new opera. But Thick Description proves that it not only can be done but done rather well. Its premiere of David Conte's "Firebird Motel," which opened Monday at the company's Thick House, is a compelling piece...
Something of a cross between a dramatic tone poem -- or perhaps an operatic meditation -- and a Gian Carlo Menotti-style minor melodrama, "Firebird" is an eventful night among the hopeless down-and-out denizens of a seedy semi-residential motel in the Mojave Desert. In David Yezzi's oddly slow- motion, action-packed libretto, the motel is both a haven of last resort and a death trap for hapless young women.
"Firebird" weaves a hypnotic spell. Conte's sinuously suggestive melodies create a paradoxically lush impression of barren lives in a harsh environment and build gently, almost pensively, but inexorably toward the climax. Plaintive solos alternate with vibrant duets and lustrous trios, occasionally punctuated on Ivan's radio by Conte's lovely Christmas chorales, in an almost seamless creation.
Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle; November 19th, 2003
Departments and Faculty Involved with This Event
Opera and Musical Theatre
- Marcie Stapp, Diction
- Curt Pajer, Musical and Managing Director of Opera
- Michael Mohammed, Director of Musical Theatre Workshop
- Heather Mathews, Associate Program Director
- Dave Maier, Stage Combat
- Brady Lea, Acting
- Jose Maria Condemi, Director of Opera and Musical Theatre; Chair
- Milissa Carey, Acting
- Lauren Mayer
- Joan Walton