Middlemarch in Spring is a major new chamber opera from the creative team of Allen Shearer, composer and Claudia Stevens librettist, with Composers, Inc. as presenters. Shearer and Stevens’ goal is always to entertain, while pushing the boundaries of opera. Middlemarch in Spring is an opera full of delight and humor that is also thought-provoking and deeply moving.Matthew Antaky’s sketch for our stage set represents the enclosure – a hothouse – where young ladies like Dorothea and Celia are nurtured like plants to be pleasing and avoid forming opinions.
Musicians of the day enjoyed little status, so the orchestra was put into a ‘cage,’ where the local gentry heap scorn on them and throw trash into their midst.
Middlemarch in Spring is rich in colorful imagery. Fantastical pictures of William Blake and Goya, occasionally seen floating above the set or through the windows, evoke the visions of Dorothea, Will and Casaubon.