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The Scarlet Ibis

January 17-20, 2019
at Longy School of Music of Bard College


Music by Stefan Weisman
Libretto by David Cote

Based on the short story written by James Hurst, first published in the July 1960 edition of The Atlantic Monthly
Produced in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College

Used by permission of the exclusive agent: Bill Holab Music

Critical Acclaim

"an outstanding new chamber opera ... a moving, intense and dignified creation" 

-The New York Times

"The creative team for this piece deserves kudos for recognizing so ideal an operatic subject, rich in emotion that can best be expressed in music."

-The New York Observer

The Experience

Boston Opera Collaborative returns to Pickman Hall with the Boston premiere of a beautiful, haunting new opera based on the beloved short story by James Hurst. The Scarlet Ibis tells the story of Doodle, a remarkable boy with disabilities whose older brother pushes him to be “normal.”  Set in a mysterious swampland with a Southern Gothic vibe, The Scarlet Ibis combines singers, puppetry and a score that is both minimalist and lushly chromatic to explore notions of physical wholeness, mystical otherness, and the power to soar above physical limitations. Performed with a nine-piece orchestra, featuring Longy graduate students.

Special Events

Thursday, January 17th @ 7pm in the Homburger Room
Pre-Show Champagne Reception with the Creators 

Tickets $30, limited availability
An exclusive reception featuring Prosecco and charcuterie from Bacco's Wine and Cheese on opening night with the creators of The Scarlet Ibis, Stefan Weisman and David Cote. Reserve Tickets


Friday, January 18th, directly after the show in Pickman Hall
Post-Show Panel with the Creators

Join composer Stefan Weisman and librettist David Cote for a post-show discussion on the origins of their brilliant work, as well as an audience Q+A, moderated by BOC Concert and Outreach Coordinator Carley DeFranco. This discussion will be held on-stage immediately following Friday’s performance.

Saturday, January 19th @ 7pm in the Wolfinsohn Room
"What to listen for" with Director Greg Smucker and members of creative team
Want to know what to listen for? Join Director Greg Smucker and members of the creative team for a brief, informative introduction to this haunting and poignant work.

Cast & Creative Team


Performing Thursday, Jan 17 & Saturday, Jan 19: Ann Fogler (Brother), Lucas Coura (Doodle), Britt Brown (Mother), Scott Ballantine (Father), Emily Harmon (Auntie)

Performing Friday, Jan 18 & Sunday, Jan 20: Katherine Maysek (Brother), Wei En Chan (Doodle), Shannon Grace (Mother), Andrew Miller (Father), Susannah Thornton (Auntie)

Creative Team


Stefan Weisman: Composer

Stefan Weisman is a composer living in New York City. The New York Times called his music "personal, moody and skillfully wrought." When his song "Twinkie" was featured on the nationally syndicated program The Wendy Williams Show, the host called his work, "Very unique...Fabulous!" His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, and premiered to great acclaim at the East 13th Street Theater. Following a tour in Europe, Darkling was released by Albany Records. His one-act opera Fade premiered in London and also had successful performances in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Brooklyn. His opera, The Scarlet Ibis, premiered in the PROTOTYPE opera festival in NYC. The Wall Street Journal said it was "subtly subversive, and it's production groundbreaking." Following the Boston Opera Collaborative’s performances, The Scarlet Ibis will receive a new production by the Chicago Opera Theatre in February 2019.

David Cote: Librettist

David Cote is a playwright, librettist and arts journalist based in New York City. Operas include Three Way with Robert Paterson (Brooklyn Academy of Music & Nashville Opera); The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype festival, NYC) and Fade with Stefan Weisman; and the upcoming Blind Injustice (Cincinnati Opera) with Scott Davenport Richards and director Robin Guarino. In February, The Scarlet Ibis will also be produced by Chicago Opera Theater. The original cast album of Three Way was recently released by American Modern Recordings. David also wrote a dating-site song cycle with Paterson, In Real Life, and the Black Lives Matter piece for baritone and orchestra, Invitation to a Die-In, with Nkeiru Okoye. He’s developing a new opera with Weisman for soprano Lauren Flanigan called American Atheist. Plays include Otherland and Fear of Art. Alumnus of Bard College. MacDowell Colony fellow. More at For Katy, my love.

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Scarlet Ibis premiered at the 2015 PROTOTYPE Festival

in a co-production between BETH MORRISON PROJECTS & HERE

Produced in Association with AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS

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