UrbanArias is excited to premiere our ninth (!) commissioned opera this Spring! Running April 30 through May 8 at the Keegan Theatre, WHY I LIVE AT THE P.O. takes the comic masterpiece by beloved author Eudora Welty and combines it with classic and contemporary American musical styles to tell the story of a supremely relatable family.
by UrbanArias Founder and Artistic Director, Robert Wood:
WHY I LIVE AT THE P.O. is a classic American short story by a famous author, and even many years later, it captures so much of human nature: our pride and vanity, our difficulty in moving on from the past, and the unbelievable ability of your family to drive you crazy the way nothing else can. In the last several years, I’ve been drawn more and more to crossover and fusion work: operas that sing to us in a variety of musical styles. Why? Because I believe that opera, or any music theater, is at its most successful when it reflects the language of the people hearing it. Literally, in the sense that opera in your own language is easier to understand, but also musically – most Americans aren’t familiar with the evolution of classical music in the 20th century, but most Americans ARE familiar with musicals and with big band, which form a large part of P.O.’s musical style. I’m always looking for operas that are about US – our society, our shared experiences, our culture, and P.O. fits all of that to a T.
I was at Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers festival of new opera a few years ago, and P.O. was one of their selections. I heard the first 20 minutes of it, which was all that had been written to that point, and found it very charming and funny. It’s been on my mind to produce at some point for several years now, and I don’t know about anyone else, but what I’d really like to do after two years of this wretched pandemic is laugh. Just laugh, with other people, in a theater.We were able to do that in a workshop presentation of P.O. in September, and boy, did it feel great!So not only was this the year that we had the means to commission the completion of this opera and a great venue to produce it in, it was also the year where everyone needed a break more than ever – and where the idiosyncrasies of family relationships felt extremely fresh to many of us. So WHY I LIVE AT THE P.O. feels very of the moment in 2022.
Tickets for WHY I LIVE AT THE P.O. will go on sale in late February!