Chicago Opera Theater (COT) will present The Invention of Morel, a world premiere of the co-commissioned opera composed by Stewart Copeland, co-founder and drummer of The Police. Based on Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Casares’ 1940 novel “La invención de Morel,” Copeland’s new adaptation examines the triumph of time-bending love over convention in a story of adoration and desire. The Invention of Morel features London-based actor, director and writer Jonathan Moore as stage director/librettist together with COT’s artistic director, Andreas Mitisek, as conductor.
"The idea of making an opera out of Morel came from my 18-year-old daughter, Grace," said Copeland. "She was drawn to the device of the two lovers meeting on the same beach, but living in different times in history. Music is the perfect way to create the effect of Morel's invention of never-ending time loops. The feeling of reality going around and around is how music works and provides a way to represent the overlapping and contrasting realities of the story.”
In the opera an escaped fugitive arrives on an isolated, strange island. While exploring his surroundings, he observes a group of tourists, including one particularly beautiful woman with whom he becomes obsessed. However, noticing something is amiss, he discovers these eccentric visitors exist in an alternate reality created by a futuristic invention of Morel, a mad, scientific genius who controls both the present and the past.
The orchestra for this production is comprised of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, a critically acclaimed ensemble performing contemporary classical music in a variety of venues in the Chicago area lead by artistic director and founder Stephen Burns. Now in its 16th year, Fulcrum Point has presented performances in a diverse array of settings and prestigious concert stages, including the Field Museum, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Ravinia Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, where the ensemble is a resident company.
In 1998, musician, conductor, and music educator Stephen Burns was invited by Performing Arts Chicago to create a series of innovative new music programs. Fulcrum Point New Music Project is a member of New Music Chicago.
The cast of The Invention of Morel includes Andrew Wilkowske in the role of The Fugitive, Lee Gregory as The Narrator, Valerie Vinzant as Faustine, Kimberly E. Jones as Dora, Barbara Landis as Duchess and Scott Brunscheen as Alec/Ombrellieri.
Performances take place February 18 through 26. For tickets or more details, visit chicagooperatheater.org or call 312.704.8414.
Chicago Opera Theater’s season continues on April 22 with the Chicago premiere of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American, a fictionalized biography of Walt Disney’s life told through the musical lens of Philip Glass, melding delusions of the American Dream, immortality and an empire.
Drummer and co-founder of the rock band The Police, Stewart Copeland has penned The Invention of Morel, a new opera that will receive its world premiere by Chicago Opera Theater this season.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts