The Painter

The Painter is a one-act opera that takes place in a single night. The single scene opens with Hugo, a talented painter, and Michael, his best friend, exchanging both tender sentiments and harsh words about the recent loss of Hugo's wife through anonymous urban violence. Michael fears for Hugo's well being but his concerns fall on deaf ears and Hugo's only desire is to assuage his grief through painting renditions of Claire, his dead wife, or other demonic figures. Micheal leaves in exasperation and Hugo's delusions take over. Claire, emerging from a painting in the figure of veiled woman offers the consolation of suicide and an end to the pain, while the Master of the Dance, emerging from a different painting, counsels revenge on the murderer who the Master deftly convinces Hugo is his friend Michael. About to find him, the veiled woman again emerges and Hugo softly falls into her embrace, choosing her path over any other.

Michael, bass-baritone
Hugo, tenor
Veiled Woman, soprano
Master of the Dance, counter tenor

Duration: 30 minutes

Clarinet, Vibraphone, Harp, Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass

Production History:
American Opera Projects (excerpts), 2003
Derrick Ballard, Michael
Simeon Esper, Hugo
Deborah Van Renterghem, Veiled Woman

Voyeur Theater Ensemble, 2007
Dennis Blackwell, Michael
Josh Mochel, Hugo
Robert Fertita, Master of the Dance
Rachel Carter, Veiled Woman

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