rumpelstiltskin

World Premiere

Music by Ruby Fulton and George Lam
Libretto by John Clum
Based on the Rumpelstiltskin fable

May 11 - 19, 2018

124 Bank Street Theatre
124 Bank St, New York, NY

(Photos by Janette Pelligrini and Ashley Busone.)

Overview

To celebrate their 10th Anniversary of creating and producing brand-new chamber operas, Rhymes With Opera chose one of the oldest fairy tales in western culture. The story of Rumpelstiltskin, collected by the Brothers Grimm, dates as far back as the 17th century. A mysterious creature makes a bargain with a young woman to grant her the power to turn ordinary straw into gold. In return, Rumpelstiltskin asks for her first-born child. When she refuses, Rumpelstiltskin gives her a seemingly impossible way out: “find my name, and you may keep your child...”

In this production, themes of greed, bargaining, magic, and unconditional love combined with elaborate costumes, queer drag culture, and loud makeup transform a very old story into a new, modern opera, inspired by the San Francisco performance troupe, The Cockettes. The fantastical title character of Rumpelstiltskin grapples between the two sides of their personality, and was portrayed simultaneously by two singers. In fact, this unique take on Rumpelstiltskin’s duality was very much reflected in the opera’s creative process: the music was a unique collaboration by Rhymes With Opera co-artistic directors Ruby Fulton and George Lam, with an original libretto by Chicago-based John Clum.

This world premiere production of Rumpelstiltskin featured Rhymes With Opera ensemble members Elisabeth Halliday (Woman/Rumpelstiltskin), Bonnie Lander (Girl/Queen), Robert Maril (Man/Rumpelstiltskin), and guest artist Timothy Stoddard (Witch/Father/King). Rumpelstiltskin’s production team included Laine Rettmer (director), Luke Miller (choreographer), Ryan Leitner (costume designer), and Conrad Chu (conductor) who led the Rhymes With Orchestra.

Production

Laine Rettmer, director
Conrad Chu, conductor
Luke Miller, choreographer
Andrea Merkx, set designer
Ryan Leitner, costume designer
Amanda Ringger, lighting designer
Kevin Connell Muth, makeup designer
Sarah Brown, stage manager
Christopher Denver and Justin Hsu, assistant stage manager and props master

Cast

Rhymes With Orchestra

Jeffrey Young, violin
Nick Pauly, viola
Jennifer Girone-Virgilio, cello
Zach Herchen, saxophone
Lana Norris, piano
Maiko Hosoda, percussion