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May 18, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


The Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO) Presents

The Sorrows of Frederick

Music by Scott Wheeler; Libretto by Romulus Linney

Mark Shapiro, Conductor; Beth Greenberg, Stage Director

Friday, May 18, 2018, 8pm, at Irondale Center, Brooklyn

New York, NY (April 30, 2018) — Scott Wheeler’s opera, The Sorrows of Frederick, will be seen at Brooklyn’s Irondale Center on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 8pm.  Act 1 of this two-act opera is being presented as part of Center for Contemporary Opera’s Development Series.  The libretto is by Romulus Linney. Mark Shapiro conducts and Beth Greenberg is the stage director with Keith Phares singing the title role of Frederick.  

Scott Wheeler writes that “The Sorrows of Frederick uses modern language to create a darkly comic opera (in the sense that Don Giovanni is a “comic drama” dealing with evil and death) based on the life of King Frederick the Great of Prussia.  The libretto has the richness of a Shakespearean history play. Act 1 is a tragic gay love story putting his romantic and artistic ideals against the repressive and authoritarian regime of Frederick’s father.  Act 2 explores the tragic consequences of Frederick’s attempts to combine the ideals of the Enlightenment with military conquest.

About the Center for Contemporary Opera

For more than three decades, the Center for Contemporary Opera has been the leading opera company devoted exclusively to the development and production of modern operas, seen in both the United States and abroad producing a remarkable body of work including staging some 59 contemporary operas including more than 15 premieres as well as 55 operas in development.  

Founded in 1982 by Richard Marshall and Robert Ward, CCO continues its mission to produce and develop new opera and music-theater works; revive rarely seen American operas written after World War II; promote an interest in new operatic and music-theater culture among the public; and to produce contemporary opera outside of the United States.  The Center for Contemporary Opera has also produced seven commercial recordings, and seven European performances – the most recent in December 2016 of a Louis Andriessen double bill of Odysseus’ Women and Anaïs Nin staged in Amsterdam.

Effective June 30, 2018, Jim Schaeffer, CCO’s Artistic and General Director since October 2008 will retire.  Schaeffer states about his work with CCO, “It has been a great honor to have directed the Center for Contemporary Opera for the past ten years.  I will greatly miss the excitement of bringing the works of living composers to the stage as well as the many artist, directors, conductors, and designers with whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the years.  Contemporary opera is now enjoying a second renaissance in the United States and I would like to think that CCO played a key role in making that possible.”