On a visit to her childhood home, Jo retreats into a vividexamination of her life, remembering how much easier things werein her youth and longing for the seeming perfection of that time.But life had other things in mind. Sound familiar?
She and her three siblings share a bond that only sisters can,but that bond is increasingly challenged as they grow older,and young dreams give way to adult realities.
On their journey through inevitable change, they discoverthat even in tragedy, collateral beauty can exist.
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott.
In English with English supertitles. A coproduction with Minnesota Opera.
Made possible in part by the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundationand the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.
Charles Prestinari is lecturer in collaborative piano (vocal) at the IU Jacobs School of Music, where he is also an opera coach. Since 2017, he has also served as chorus master and senior opera coach at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. He was chorus master of the San Diego Opera (SDO) from 2011 to 2016. He was also music administrator for the company during his final two seasons. Notable productions from his time in San Diego include the U.S. professional stage premiere of Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella Cattedrale, the West Coast premieres of Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick and Great Scott, Verdi’s Aida, and John Adams’ Nixon in China. From 2004 to 2011, Prestinari was associated with New York City Opera (NYCO), first as assistant chorus master, then, from 2007, as chorus master. He worked on more than 50 different productions there, including the New York premiere of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place and an Emmy-winning Live from Lincoln Center telecast of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. In addition to his work for SDO and NYCO, he has also prepared choruses for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and Manhattan School of Music. In 2013, he was invited by the New York City National Chorale to conduct Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana as part of its annual concert series at Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) in Lincoln Center. While earning graduate degrees in choral conducting from Jacobs, Prestinari served as chorus master for four productions with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater, as well as an opera coach, and assisted in preparing Opera Theater’s collegiate premiere of Adamo’s Little Women, in 2002. He has also been an accompanist for numerous organizations and is an active church musician. He currently serves as coordinator of music ministry/associate organist at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana.
Michael Shell’s “visionary” and “masterful storytelling” (OperaNews) is steadily leading him to be one of the most sought-after directors in the United States. His “thoughtful and detailed score study” (OperaToday) is shown in character development and relationships onstage as well as the complete visual world he creates. Shell has directed productions for Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, Opera San José, Opera Tampa, Opera North, Virginia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and recently made his directorial debut at Houston Grand Opera. He made his international directing debut at the Wexford Festival Opera in 2010 with a production of Winners by American composer Richard Wargo and returned the next fall to direct Double Trouble – Trouble in Tahiti & The Telephone. He has written and directed three cabarets, including All About Love and The Glamorous Life – A group therapy session for Opera Singers, both for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Shell earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in Music/Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He was a Corbett Scholar at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as well as studying acting and scene study on a school-awarded scholarship at H. B. Studios in New York City. He has been guest faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida State University, and Webster University, St. Louis, teaching Opera Workshop and directing Undergraduate Opera Workshop performances. In addition, he has been guest director at the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute, Oklahoma University, and was a frequent guest director at Indiana University. Shell joined the faculty of the Summer Opera Program at the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute in 2018. Last fall, he joined the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music, teaching classes in acting. Recent engagements include Silent Night for Arizona Opera and a new production of Candide for Des Moines Metro Opera.
Robert O’Hearn earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1943. As principal designer for IU Opera and Ballet Theater, O’Hearn designed sets and costumes for more than 40 productions and taught in the Opera Studies program for many years. Prior to coming to IU, he designed sets and costumes for the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna Volksoper, Hamburg Staatsoper, New York City Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Ballet West. O’Hearn served as professor for the Studio and Forum of Stage Design in New York from 1968 to 1988. He has given lectures and classes at Carnegie Mellon, Brandeis, and Penn State University. In 2005, he received the Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design.
A Bloomington-based designer and scenic artist, Mark Frederic Smith is also the director of scenic painting and properties for Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater, where he has worked on over 100 productions during the past 22 years. Design work for Jacobs School projects includes 2016’s Florencia en el Amazonas, last season’s Don Giovanni and Ariadne auf Naxos, and this season’s upcoming production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. His design for Florencia en el Amazonas was featured in San Diego Opera’s 2017-18 season. In addition to work for Indianapolis Civic Theater, Butler Ballet, and Indianapolis Ballet’s company premiere production of TheFirebird, area theatergoers will recognize Mark’s designs for more than a dozen Cardinal Stage Company shows, including Les Miserables, A Streetcar Named Desire, MyFair Lady, Big River, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Smith earned a Master of Fine Art in Scenic Design from the Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama and was a student of Jacobs professors emeriti C. David Higgins and Robert O’Hearn.
Dana Tzvetkov designs and constructs costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. Her work has recently been featured in Central City Opera’s Tosca (2016) and Carmen (2017), and the National Opera Association’s Hagar (2016). Her designs have appeared on Indiana University’s Musical Arts Center stage in Saudade, Carmen, and Peter Grimes. She has designed rentals for Ball State Opera Theater, Mississippi Opera, DePauw University, and Butler University. She worked alongside Linda Pisano for Opera San Antonio to build costumes for a cast including Patricia Racette and Michelle DeYoung. She has been commissioned to create concert gowns for DeYoung and Sylvia McNair. Tzvetkov served as the costume shop supervisor for IU Opera and Ballet Theater from 2013 until recently, when she was promoted to shop manager. She returned to Central City Opera in summer 2018 to coordinate its production of Il Trovatore.
Ken Phillips is lighting supervisor at the IU Jacobs School of Music. His debut production with IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater was this year’s fall ballet, Dark Meets Light. He earned an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Arizona and previously worked freelance around the country. Most of his previous designs have been for musical theater, and samples may be seen at KGPhillips.com.
Walter Huffis professor of choral conducting and faculty director of opera choruses at the IU Jacobs School of Music. He served as chorus master for the Atlanta Opera for more than two decades, leading the renowned ensemble in more than 125 productions, with critical acclaim in the United States and abroad. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins). He studied piano with Sarah Martin, Peter Takács, and Lillian Freundlich, and voice with Flore Wend. After serving as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, he received Tanglewood’s C. D. Jackson Master Award for Excellence. Huff served as coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre and Washington Opera, and has been musical director for The Atlanta Opera Studio, Georgia State University Opera, and Actor’s Express (Atlanta). He also has worked as chorus master with San Diego Opera. He served on the faculty at Georgia State University for four years as assistant professor, guest lecturer, and conductor for the Georgia State University Choral Society. He has served as chorus master for many IU Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater productions, most recently, L’Étoile, It’s a Wonderful Life, Lucia di Lammermoor, West Side Story, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Elixir of Love, Bernstein’s Mass, Le Nozze di Figaro, Parsifal, Suor Angelica, and La Traviata. For four years, Huff has served as choral instructor and conductor for the Jacobs School’s Sacred Music Intensive. He has conducted the Jacobs Summer Music series productions of Arthur Honegger’s King Davidand Stephen Paulus’s The Three Hermits. In 2019, he returned for a second year to Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute and has been appointed chorus master for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 2020 season. Huff also maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta. Huff and Jacobs faculty choral colleague Chris Albanese have been invited to be presenters at the ACDA National Virtual Convention, in March 2021.