The Old Man and the Sea is an opera by Paola Presitni, Royce Vavrek and Karmina Šilec that presents a dual track of storytelling by combining the Hemmingway with original portraits of quotidian life to create a look at aging, legacy and our relationship to oceans. The work includes longtime collaborators/muses of prestini’s including Helga Davis as the narrator and Jeffrey Zeigler as the featured cellist. The cast includes a choir, and brings to life the seminal characters: Santiago, Manolin, and the wife, recast as the Virgen del Cobre, a goddess in Santería, the Afro-Caribbean faith, who was found floating on a wooden board off the coast of eastern Cuba in 1628. Themes of baseball, ecology, religion, and economy paint a conflict between progress and tradition, craft passion and exploitation, ultimately shedding contemporary perspectives on this timeless tale.
Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Arizona State University Cultural Affairs and its division of ASU Gammage, Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina, VisionIntoArt, and Jill & Bill Steinberg. Developed by Beth Morrison Projects & ASU Gammage. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects. The commissioning of Paola Prestini for The Old Man and the Sea received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Women Composers program supported by Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional support provided by New York State Council on the Arts with the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
"An unstoppable force" (Praise for Paola Prestini)
"An exemplary creator of operatic prose" (Praise for Royce Vavrek)
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