City Opera presents the New York premiere of the first opera by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, whose previous credits run from Godspell to Wicked and Enchanted. Based on the novel by Mark McShane and its 1964 film noir adaptation, the opera focuses on Myra Foster, a trance medium who involves her passive husband in a plot to kidnap the daughter of a neighboring family. Myra intends to find the girl through psychic communication with her own dead son, and so gain the fame she craves--but the plot goes awry, as her fragile sanity begins to break down.
Soprano Lauren Flanigan is Myra Foster, and baritone Kim Josephson makes his company debut as Bill Foster. Excerpts from Séance on a Wet Afternoon were presented at City Opera's VOX showcase in 2009. The opera had its world premiere on September 26, 2009, at Opera Santa Barbara in California. City Opera music director George Mahanan conducts the production, directed by Scott Schwartz, with sets by Heidi Ettinger, costumes by Alejo Vietti and lighting by David Lander, all making their City Opera debuts. The work will be performed in English with supertitles.