Diane Paulus Directs New York Debut of Crossing
Matthew Aucoin's acclaimed opera is inspired by the life of Walt Whitman.
Crossing, a new opera written by Matthew Aucoin, will make its New York premiere at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Performances are scheduled for October 3, 5, and 7 at 7:30pm and October 8 at 3pm.
Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, the piece is inspired by the diary Walt Whitman kept as a nurse during the Civil War. Aucoin will conduct the 26-piece chamber orchestra A Far Cry, accompanying a cast that features baritone Rod Gilfry (Walt Whitman), tenor Alexander Lewis (John Wormley), bass baritone Davone Tines (Freddie Stowers), soprano Jennifer Zetlan (Messenger), and an 11-member male chorus. The work was commissioned by American Repertory Theater for the National Civil War Project, commemorating the war's 150th anniversary.
Set in a ramshackle hospital, bloodied and broken soldiers await their fates and news of the war's end. Aucoin's fictional characterization of Whitman presents a conflicted but compassionate man, drawn romantically to a wounded soldier — John Wormley — himself a complex character in need.
The creative team also includes choreography by Jill Johnson, set design by Tom Pye, costume design by David Zinn, lighting by Jennifer Tipton, and projection design by Finn Ross.
Crossing had its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in spring 2015.