THE LITTLE PRINCE
Music & Lyrics by Rachel Portman
With a Libretto by Nicholas Wright
Based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Paper Project for Opera-America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Designed for the Glimmerglass Opera House
***2019 Finalist of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase***
director - Noam Shapiro
scenic designer - Santiago Orjuela-Laverde
costume designer - Haydee Zelideth
lighting designer - Reza Behjat
projections designer - Yana Birÿkova
choreographer - Tamrin Goldberg
Production website: www.littleprincetheopera.com
THE LITTLE PRINCE
After being forced to land his plane in the desert, a pilot encounters a Little Prince with a strange history. The two become unlikely friends as they both try to make their way back home.
Our production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince imagines Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story as a fable for a world in the midst of a migration crisis. As a group of migrants await their fate at the United States’ Southern border, the adults recast their children's experiences with smugglers, officers, and good Samaritans as intergalactic encounters with strange grownups and resplendent beasts in a world without borders. While remaining faithful to Saint-Exupéry’s story, we deliberately pushed against his iconic drawings to reinterpret this tale through a diverse, nuanced, and contemporary lens. Inspired by the Public Theater’s Public Works initiative, our cast will be made up of professional singers and local community members, including immigrants and resettled refugees. If realized, this production aims to engage with diverse populations that might not normally attend opera, while simultaneously calling attention to the plight of today’s “Little Princes,” detained migrant children who remain caught between homes left behind and hoped-for refuge.
Opera Conference 2019
In June 2019, Haydee Zelideth, Santiago Orjuela-Laverde, and I were invited to present our production concept at Opera America’s National Opera Conference in San Francisco.
This production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince was selected as one of four Finalists for the 2019 of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase. Nearly 40 applicant teams of directors and designers each created a production concept for an opera chosen from a curated repertoire list. Submissions included visions for staging, scenery, props, costumes and required personnel.
Finalist teams were selected by an independent panel consisting of Oana Botez, costume designer; Wendall K. Harrington, projection designer; Anna Labykina, production and technical director, Boston Lyric Opera; Allen Moyer, scenic and costume designer; Julia Noulin-Mérat, set designer and associate producer, Boston Lyric Opera; and Chas Rader-Shieber, stage director. As opera is an intrinsically collaborative art form, the projects chosen were selected not only because they demonstrate the requisite creativity and skill, but because they display true collaboration and collective passion.
During the first half of 2019, the team will be granted $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models under the mentorship of scenic and costume designer Allen Moyer. The team will attend Opera Conference 2019 in San Francisco, where we will present our proposal to more than 100 opera producers at a special session that will also be live streamed. Over the next two years, our team will also have our designs featured in sixth-month rotating exhibition at OPERA America's National Opera Center in New York.
“OPERA America Announces 2019 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase Finalists,” BWW News Desk for Broadway World, November 14, 2018