Crisp Autumn days like these remind me of the New England of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women. If you enjoy this story, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Annapolis Opera is producing the opera version in early November at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Written and composed by Mark Adamo, Little Women has been performed around the world, and is one of the most frequently produced American operas.
“Little Women” is the story of four sisters coming of age during the American Civil War. As they grow up, they struggle between their ambitions, responsibilities to their family, and their gender roles. Those who’ve read the novel or seen the staged or filmed versions will recognize many of the scenes in the opera, though most of the focus is on the relationship between the sisters.
Ron Gretz, Annapolis Opera’s long-time Artistic Director and Conductor explained what he loves about the opera. “The composer uses recurring themes throughout which helps the listeners feel that they already ‘know the music,’” he said.
Even those who haven’t read the novel will find something to enjoy in its opera version. Stage Director Braxton Peters, who has been at Annapolis Opera for 26 years, said “I think that it [“Little Women”] is so popular because it’s a universal story of ‘family’…their happiness and struggles…bound by love and devotion.”
An “Insight Series,” a program of lectures and presentations about “Little Women” leads up to the performances. Learn the backstory of “Little Women,” as well as the rehearsal and performance process of opera singers in “Challenges for the Modern Opera Singer,” led by music authority Nancie Kennedy. The composer himself, Mark Adamo, will talk about his experience creating the opera in “Meet the Composer: Interview on the Creative Process.”
Performances are November 3rd at 8:00 p.m., and November 5th at 3 p.m. For tickets, go to https://www.marylandhall.org/little-women.
Photos courtesy of Annapolis Opera