News

Jeffrey Sykes and I will premiere November Gold, my cycle of seven songs on poems of Robert Francis, Sunday evening Nov. 5 at the Berkeley Piano Club. On the same occasion–Sonic Harvest 17– Emily Onderdonk will perform my Soliloquy for viola solo.

Charlottesville Opera gave the East Coast Premiere of Middlemarch in Spring March 23 and 24, 2017 at the Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA, in collaboration with Virginia’s Festival of the Book. Excerpts from this fine production can be seen here.

In February West Edge Opera presented a portion of our opera-in-progress Howards End, America in their new Snapshots program with Jonathan Khuner conducting and a fine cast. San Francisco Classical Voice referred to it as a “strong show” with “plenty of drama.” Read the full review here.

MIddlemarch in Spring was given Honorable Mention in The American Prize, category opera/theater/film, professional.

Sunday afternoon November 20 Composers, Inc. presented my Stories Wind Told to Grass at Piedmont Piano Company in downtown Oakland, with the same stellar performers who premiered the work: mezzo soprano Christine Abraham, flutist Tod Brody, cellist Jean-Michel Fonteneau, and pianist Jeffrey Sykes.

Circe’s Pigs, my one-act opera on a libretto by Claudia Stevens, premiered October 16, 2017 on Sonic Harvest  at the Hillside Club in Berkeley. Christine Abraham and Michael Orlinsky appeared as Circe and Ulysses in an updated comic rendition of a story from the Odyssey.

Kissing Marfa, my new comic opera in one scene on a libretto by Claudia Stevens, was premiered at California State University, East Bay, May 25, 2016.

The premiere production of Middlemarch in Spring, my chamber opera on a libretto by Claudia Stevens after the novel by George Eliot, was presented in March at Z Space, San Francisco by Composers, Inc. It was named one of the TOP TEN OPERATIC EVENTS OF 2015 by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Encyclopedia Brittanica named it among the most newsworthy new musical works world-wide in its 2015 Year-In-Review. Scroll down in “Classical” to read the entry.

See more reviews here.

Read a glowing five-star review by Janos Gereben in the San Francisco Examiner titled “A rare triumph for a new opera.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “…this two-act chamber work is such a light-hearted and buoyant creation that it’s hard not to walk away feeling that all’s right with the world…. Shearer’s score — tuneful, elegant and canny in its creation of musical character — furthers that notion. Working with striking concision, the composer helps us hear the inner nature of each of the characters, from Casaubon’s granitic self-regard to Celia’s charmingly bubbled-headed cheeriness.” Read the full review here.

And in SFist Reviews, Cedric Westphal considers Middlemarch in Spring “…masterly written, the back and forth between the singer and stage and the musicians’ interjection effortlessly natural… we wish it a similar trajectories (sic) as Mark Adamo’s Little Women.” For more reviews as well as photos and more, visit middlemarchinspring.com

The Dawn Makers, my one-act opera by on a libretto by Claudia Stevens which premiered in 2009 in San Francisco, was selected as a finalist in the Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition, 2014-2016 competition cycle.

 

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