main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu

Jackie O

   

Jackie O

Music by Michael Daugherty

Libretto by Wayne Koestenbaum

In repertory with The Dreamy Kid/De Organizer

Conducted by Kenneth Kiesler

March 22,24 & 26, 2006

Mendelssohn Theatre

UM School of Music

Opera Theatre

Overview     Press Release     Program     Photos

Presented as part of the theme semester Opera in the Americas -- American Opera with support from the Institute for the Humanities.

Overview

Society’s fascination with celebrity and pop culture is the theme of Jackie O, a playful pop opera of facts and fancies about one of America’s most enduring icons, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie attends a 1968 avant-garde New York “happening” with Andy Warhol, meets the seductive Aristotle Onassis for the first time, has a dream duet with Maria Callas, and embraces her fate as a symbol of JFK’s idealism. Jackie O captures the mystery, the tragedy, and the glamour that epitomized this pop icon.

Premiered by the Houston Grand Opera in 1997, Jackie O was composed by UM professor Michael Daugherty, who is renowned for creating music inspired by American popular culture. The opera features a melodic score that draws on jazz, pop, and classical operatic idioms. Newsweek declared Jackie O “…well grounded by Koestenbaum’s poetic libretto and Michael Daugherty’s brilliantly eclectic score… simple, catchy melodies that don’t condescend and grand symphonic carnivals that aren’t pretentious.” Daugherty is one of the most performed American composers of his generation and arguably the liveliest.

 

Press Release

UM OPERA THEATRE CELEBRATES OPERA IN THE AMERICAS WITH THREE AMERICAN OPERAS IN REPERTORY

Ann Arbor - The UM Opera Theatre presents two evenings of American opera in repertory March 22 - 26 in the Mendelssohn Theatre. Jackie O, a pop opera about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, plays March 22 at 7:30 PM, March 24 at 8 PM and March 26 at 2 PM. It will alternate with an evening of two one-act operas by jazz musician and composer James P. Johnson, The Dreamy Kid and De Organizer, which play March 23 at 7:30 PM and March 25 at 8 PM. Part of the School of Music’s 125th Celebration and in conjunction with a conference on Opera in the Americas at the Institute for the Humanities, all three operas are directed by guest artist Nicolette Molnár and conducted by School of Music Professor Kenneth Kiesler.

Jackie O

Jackie O co-premiered at the Houston Grand Opera and Banff Centre for the Arts in 1997. A look at how images define our perceptions, the opera follows Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as she seeks to escape from the pressures of American idolatry with Aristotle Onassis only to eventually accept her role in the Kennedy legend. A series of vignettes, the story is both fact and fantasy in portraying Jackie Onassis. Director Nicolette Molnár states, “The time period of the late 1960s and 1970s brought about huge changes in the media - in the immediacy of information. They started to take a major role in influencing society’s ideas. Jackie O makes a statement on how we are judged by the images we leave behind.”

The opera features a score by UM Professor of Composition Michael Daugherty and a libretto by Wayne Koestenbaum, Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Wayne Koestenbaum is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award and the author of Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon and The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire. In addition to classical and symphonic works, Daugherty is known for his compositions inspired by American popular icons such as Metropolis Symphony, Elvis Everywhere and Desi. According to Daugherty, “I am fascinated by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who draws us closer yet always eludes us. Just as Jackie moves between different worlds, the music I composed for Jackie O mediates between the worlds of opera and American musical theatre.” The music for Jackie O draws on jazz and pop from the time period and classical operatic idioms.

Joining Molnár and Kiesler on the artistic team are Vincent Mountain, scenic designer, and Christianne Myers as costume designer. Guest Michael Lincoln designs lights for Jackie O and Department of Theatre & Drama undergraduate student Andrew Fritsch designs lights for The Dreamy Kid and De Organizer. Also on the artistic staff for Jackie O are Kristin Fosdick, video designer and Melissa Beck Matjias, Jarel Waters, and Evan Faas, choreographers. Natalie Malotke choreographs for De Organizer.

Ticket prices are $22 and $16 reserved seating with students only $9 with ID. Tickets are available in person at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League. The Ticket Office is open from 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday and 10 AM – 1 PM on Saturday. Order by phone at (734) 764-2538. All major credit cards are accepted. Tickets may also be ordered online at www.music.umich.edu. The Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, located at 911 N. University, is handicapped accessible and equipped with an infrared listening system for hearing enhancement.

 

Program

Click here to view the program for Jackie O.

 

Photos

cast

Marlene Inman and kelly holst
Cast
Marlene Inman and Kelly Holst
nathan brian
Hannah Williams
Nathan Brian

Hannah Williams

Jody Doktor and Seth Mease Carico
Seth Mease Carico and hannah williams
Jody Doktor and Seth Mease Carico
Seth Mease Carico and Hannah Williams
Evan fass, bryan langlitz and alex puette
seth mease carico
Evan Foss, Bryan Langlitz, and Alex Puette
Seth Mease Carico
Hannah Williams
cast
Hannah Williams
Cast
Jody Doktor
jody doktor and hannah williams
Jody Doktor

Jody Doktor and Hannah Williams

cast
Cast

 

main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

×