Frederica Von Stade Headlines ‘Sky on Swings’ World Premiere

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Philadelphia’s second annual season-opening festival is set to launch on Sept. 20, 2018 with the world premiere of “Sky on Swings.”

The work, which world premieres on the eve of World Alzheimer’s Day, explores Alzheimer’s disease from the creative team behind O17’s “I Have No Stories to Tell You.” The new chamber opera finds fleeting beauty in memory loss, pairing the “hauntingly lovely and deeply personal” music of Lembit Beecher with a profoundly sensitive libretto by “Canada’s hottest young playwright,” Hannah Moscovitch.

The opera is set to star mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, and legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. What will make “Sky on Swings” even more unique is that it is the only opera to be headlined by two mature female vocalists.

The work will debut at the intimate Perelman Theater in an original production by stage director Joanna Settle, under the baton of On Site Opera’s Geoffrey McDonald.

Performances will run from Sept. 20 through the 29, 2018.