Richard Thompson: The Mask in the Mirror Richard C. Thompson, Cameo Humes, Angela L. Owens & Stephen Tucker
- Richard Thompson (b. 1949): The Mask in the Mirror:
- 1The Mask in the Mirror: Prologue05:13
- 2The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: Paul at Home in Dayton, Ohio10:16
- 3The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: Dean Howells, Literary Critic, at His Gentleman's Club11:12
- 4The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: Victoria's Farewell Party for Paul, at Her Home in Brooklyn09:27
- 5The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: Alice with Her Mother, Patsy Moore, at Their Home in New Orleans06:21
- 6The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: In the Office of Ms. Lyons, the New Headmistress of a Brooklyn School08:23
- 7The Mask in the Mirror, Act I: Paul at His London Apartment with His Friend Sarah11:37
- The Mask in the Mirror, Act II:
- 8The Mask in the Mirror, Act II: Paul at a Poetry Reading in New York06:10
- 9The Mask in the Mirror, Act II: Paul in a Harlem Bar09:02
- 10The Mask in the Mirror, Act II: Paul and Alice at Their Friend Sally's Apartment in Brooklyn11:20
- 11The Mask in the Mirror, Act II: Paul at Home in Washington D.C.13:50
- The Mask in the Mirror, Act III:
- 12The Mask in the Mirror, Act III: Paul, Alice, and Mathilde Dunbar at Their Home in Washington D.C.12:45
- 13The Mask in the Mirror, Act III: Leila and Patsy Moore at Home in New Orleans05:59
- 14The Mask in the Mirror, Act III: Paul at Home in Dayton, Ohio08:59
Info for Richard Thompson: The Mask in the Mirror
Composer Richard Thompson’s three-act opera presents the life behind the name of Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the most prominent African American poets of the early 20th Century. This dramatic performance, inspired by the hundreds of letters exchanged between Dunbar and his wife, Alice Ruth Moore, removes the masks of fame and social identity to investigate the psychological realities of the people underneath.
Driven by pivotal moments in the poet’s life, the chamber opera follows the arc of Paul and Alice’s relationship, from their courtship through letters, secret engagement and marriage, to their final estrangement and Paul’s death from alcoholism and tuberculosis at age 33. Throughout these moments, the audience gets a look behind the known storyline into the psychological challenges occurring beneath the surface for both Paul and Alice. Both characters grappled with the fact that they came from troubled relational backgrounds filled with abuse and apathy — much of which was translated into their own marriage. In addition, both struggled with their racial identity in a culture that generally judged and discriminated before it sought to understand.
The dramatic tension of their personal relationship and story, fused with the broader questions surrounding identity, appearance versus reality, and grappling with the person in the mirror, makes this a moving story on the operatic stage. Captivating, challenging, and compelling, THE MASK IN THE MIRROR is a necessary look into fame and identity as seen through this hero of African American poetry.
The Sanaa Opera Project
Stephen Tucker, conductor
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