The Cincinnati Opera has announced the casting of principal roles for composer Gregory Spears and librettist Tracy K. Smith’s new opera “Castor and Patience.”
The company announced that the title roles will be sung by soprano Latonia Moore as Patience and bass-baritone Kevin Short as Castor. The opera will also feature tenor Frederick Ballentine as Judah, soprano Janai Brugger as Wilhelmina, mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin as Celeste, and bass-baritone Davóne Tines as West. Kazem Abdullah will conduct with stage director Kevin Newbury directing the new production.
The design team will include Vita Tzykun as the scenic designer, Jessica Jahn as the costume designer, Rachel Eliza Griffiths as the image designer, S. Katy Tucker as the projection designer, and Thomas C. Hase as the lighting designer.
The production is set to reunite Moore, Short, Ballentine, and Brugger, who are currently performing in the Metropolitan Opera’s acclaimed production of “Porgy and Bess.”
Prior to the world premiere, the company also announced that cast members will join Martin in singing excerpts from the opera in an invitation-only event on Jan. 17 as part of Opera America’s New Works Forum.
“Castor and Patience” is considered Spears’ most ambitious opera to date as it will be a two-act work running more than two hours, with a cast of twelve and a 36-piece orchestra. It will also be Spears’ second work for Cincinnati Opera, following the critically acclaimed opera “Fellow Travelers,” with librettist Greg Pierce, in 2016.
“Castor and Patience” is set to premiere at the Corbett Theater in Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts on July 16, 18, 21, 24, and 26, 2020.