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Intimate Apparel Enjoys an Operatic Opening at Lincoln Center Theater

Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed play celebrates its return to New York as an opera.

Intimate Apparel, a new opera adapted from the play by Lynn Nottage, celebrated its off-Broadway opening Monday evening at Lincoln Center Theater. Take a look at photos of the joyful occasion below.

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon (left) and librettist Lynn Nottage (right) flank cast members Chabrelle Williams (Esther alternate) and Kearstin Piper Brown (Esther).
(© Jeremy Daniel)

With a libretto by Nottage, the production features a score by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and direction by Tony winner Bartlett Sher.

The women of Intimate Apparel: Naomi Louisa O'Connell, Adrienne Danrich, Chabrelle Williams, Kearstin Piper Brown, and Krysty Swann.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

Set in turn of the century New York, Intimate Apparel tells the story of Esther (Kearstin Piper Brown), a lonely, single African-American woman who makes her living sewing beautiful corsets and ladies' undergarments. Seeking love and romance, Esther embarks on a letter-writing relationship with a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal, and comes to realize that only her self-reliance and certainty of her own worth will see her through life's challenges.

Kearstin Piper Brown and Justin Austin costar as Esther and George in Intimate Apparel.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

Along with Brown, the cast features Justin Austin, Errin Duane Brooks, Chanáe Curtis, Adrienne Danrich, Jesse Darden, Arnold Livingston Geis, Christian Mark Gibbs, Tesia Kwarteng, Anna Laurenzo, Barrington Lee, Jasmine Muhammad, Naomi Louisa O'Connell, Adam Richardson, Kimberli Render, Krysty Swann, Indra Thomas, Chabrelle Williams, and Jorell Williams.

Chabrelle Williams (Esther alternate), Arnold Livingston Geis (Mr. Marks), and Kearstin Piper Brown (Esther).
(© Jeremy Daniel)

The opera has choreography by Dianne McIntyre, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, sound by Marc Salzberg, projections by 59 Productions, casting by The Telsey Office, and music direction by Steven Osgood. Theresa Flanagan is the Stage Manager.

The company of Intimate Apparel, now running at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
(© Jeremy Daniel)