They've made operas out of a Gilded Age novel ("McTeague") and a Robert Altman movie ("A Wedding"). Now, composer William Bolcom and librettist Arnold Weinstein are slated to turn playwright Robert Anderson's 1935 antiwar comedy "Idiot's Delight" into a chamber opera for Florentine Opera of Milwaukee.
Soprano Joan Morris, Bolcom's wife, and pianist-singer Max Morath will take the lead roles originally played by famed husband-and-wife team Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. The premiere is tentatively set for spring 2007 at Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, where the Lunts appeared in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 08, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
"Idiot's Delight" -- An Arts Note in Sunday's Calendar section said the author of "Idiot's Delight," a play to be turned into an opera by composer William Bolcom, was Robert Anderson. Robert Sherwood wrote the play, a 1935 antiwar comedy.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday March 13, 2005 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
"Idiot's Delight"-- An Arts Note last Sunday said that the author of "Idiot's Delight," a play to be turned into an opera by composer William Bolcom, was Robert Anderson. Robert Sherwood wrote the play, a 1936 antiwar comedy.
"The play is funny and it's tragic, and it will be a terrific vehicle for Joan," Bolcom says. "Alfred Lunt got so interested in being a cheap vaudevillian, he went to see Milton Berle's act for a number of years to pick up some pointers."
Sherwood's play -- which was made into a 1939 movie starring Clark Gable and Norma Shearer -- involves an eccentric group of characters trapped at an Alpine resort as war breaks out.
"There's a mood today in many ways reminiscent of the '30s," says Bolcom. "We all sense that a lot of disasters are developing. We're right in the middle of it, a general atmosphere of foreboding."