Liebovar illustration

Misha Dutka is a composer for whom I have created illustrations before, for his children’s opera The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. He has written a much more serious work and it will be performed this week by Boheme Opera of NJLiebovar, or the Little Blind Girl. The involves the inhabitants and soldiers in a concentration camp in WWII. Misha asked me to create an illustration of some of the main characters for online promotion.

I tried a few different pencil compositions to show the blind girl and also the love triangle of the camp Kommandant, wealthy opera diva and imprisoned opera impresario. I used a photo of the actual camp at Theresienstadt as a backdrop.

With the composer’s suggestions we eventually came to this composition –

And I tightened up the drawing to a finish, below. Liebovar will perform at the 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing NJ this Wednesday April 27 at 7 PM, and it is a free event. For further info see this page on the Boheme Opera NJ site.

‘The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge,’ a new opera for children

I finished the art for this delightful new short operatic work aimed at children, written by Misha Dutka, which will premier on September 26 in Ft. Washington Park in Manhattan. As I wrote in a previous post, the story is based on a 1950s children’s book about the red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge – and it’s just perfect that the opera will be performed right there, where the lighthouse still stands.

For publicity purposes I put the poster in an eblast that the author can email out to all his musical friends, and I added the featured singers:

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The links in the image are not live, so I’ll repeat them here – for info on the festival, click here and for the Facebook page about the opera itself, click here.

Poster Design for Doylestown Symphonic Winds

I created this black/white illustration and poster design for a concert by a local wind ensemble.  They want a limited-color version as well, which I’m working on.  I am really looking forward to going to the concert, their program includes:

Star Spangled Banner (John Williams)
Play! (Carl Holmquist)
Candide Suite (Leonard Bernstein)
Chronicles (Joseph Turrin) trumpet soloist Matt Gallagher from University of the Arts and Philadelphia Pops
Second Prelude (George Gershwin)
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Bernstein)
Don’t you See? (Donald Grantham)
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Painting Princess Ida, finished art

The finished art, painted in acrylic paints on illustration board, for Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan’s June production of ‘Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant’. The show runs Friday June 13 and Saturday June 14 and all the details can be viewed at the Bucks G&S website.

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If you don’t know the story of Princess Ida, it’s a funny one about the battle of the sexes.  And it has an actual Battle of the Sexes, in Act III. .

It begins with King Hildebrand and his loyal subjects awaiting the arrival of rival King Gama and his daughter, Princess Ida, to marry Hildebrand’s son, the Prince Hilarion. Gama, however, arrives not with his daughter but with his three dull sons, and explains in his cantankerous way that Ida will not marry Hilarion.  She has instead devoted herself to ruling a woman’s university, where she instructs her pupils on the inferiority of man, among other subjects. Hildebrand sputters that Gama and his sons will be held captive until Ida appears and consents to marry Hilarion.

The story moves to Castle Adamant where Princess Ida and her learned ladies teach their students about the evils of man. Prince Hilarion and his friends Florian and Cyril sneak into the Woman’s University disguised as women (I think you need that bit at least once in every G&S show). Their ruse is uncovered when it’s shockingly observed that two of them are tenors and one a baritone. Ida promptly has the three men arrested, then King Hildebrand shows up to give Ida 24 hours before he demolishes Castle Adamant, if she does not marry Hilarion.

The women bring out the battle-axes to defend the castle but Hilarion and his friends easily win; Princess Ida yields to her prince, and with joy abiding, the opera concludes.