|NYC-based actor Jason Martin has a|
four octave vocal range. As the star of
The Last Ferryman, Jason has inspired
composer Paul Sullivan to write music
specifically for his voice.
Because there are so many important stories to be told, and told well.
Stories to be shared with our community, stories that reflect our rich and unique cultural heritage or a shared humanity in ways that strengthen the ways we understand and act in the world, whether as individuals or together.
And so it is that in the 15th anniversary summer season of Opera House Arts we bring you TWO world premiere productions of work we have originally developed.
The first, R&J&Z by Melody Bates (July 10-20), is an extension of our Shakespeare in Stonington program and will run in repertory with Romeo and Juliet. Once again, you will have the opportunity to be amazed by actors appearing in multiple roles in both shows. And yes, that IS Shakespeare + Zombies--as the title of Melody's play stands for Romeo&Juliet&Zombies.
|Per Jansen and Caitlin Johnston|
star in this summer's Shakespeare in
Stonington dual productions of
Romeo and Juliet and the new
R&J&Z, by Melody Bates.
This is a play rich in the lore of Haitian voodoo, in which myths plantation owners sought to create armies of slaves through botanical poisons and drugs, and the mysteries of the Apothecary--the very same mysteries which so fascinated Shakespeare, and caused him to write Juliet into a death-like sleep as part of his most famous tragedy.
And as Melody has written:
"This thing is not unknown in history--
That by some magic, devilish or good,
The flesh reanimates, and walks the earth."
(August 14-24), commissioned by OHA from Grammy Award-winning composer and pianist Paul Sullivan and Maine librettist Linda Britt (Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington). The Last Ferryman re-awakens historical figures and history itself in a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge. Like R&J&Z, The Last Ferryman explores a great moment of cultural change--when our beautiful island became, in fact, "an island no more."
OHA and its collaborating artists decided that the best way to truly understand the changes that the bridge brought was to portray life before the bridge, in addition to the fascinating story of how the bridge came to be. And so The Last Ferryman is told from the perspective of Charlie Scott, the real "last ferryman," who died (some say of heartbreak) two weeks after the bridge opened in June of 1939...
Featuring portrayals of historic island community members, including Frank and Annie McGuire, Raymond Small, Charlie Scott and more, this musical's memorable new score and island flavors are reminiscent of OHA's 2010-2012 hit, Burt Dow, Deep Water Man. Yet the stories told--only 75 years past--speak deeply to the heart of our community's past. And its future.