Hartford Opera Theater to Present World Premiere of ‘Changing Fortunes’ – Part Two of ‘Fortune’s Children: A Zoom Opera’

By Chris Ruel

The Hartford Opera Theater (HOT) will give the world premiere of “Changing Fortunes: A Zoom Opera,” part two of composer/librettist David Wolfson’s “Fortune’s Children: A Zoom Opera” on Friday, March 12, and Saturday, March 13 at 7:00 P.M. EST.

Singers from four different states will perform live on Zoom in this chamber opera directed by Moira O’Sullivan with music direction by Wolfson. The opera follows the story of three brothers: Alex, who has a white-collar career; Pat, who runs a small business owner; and Chris, an essential worker, as they live and work during a pandemic. As the pandemic wears on, Chris contracts COVID; Pat’s business fails, and their mother is diagnosed with dementia. The pandemic doesn’t leave Alex unscathed. When he calls a Zoom Meeting, it’s to confess that he has lost his job, testing their understanding of what it means to be a family.

Tenor Darius A. Gillard, and baritones Markel Reed and Thao Nguyen reprise their roles as Alex, Pat, and Chris, respectively. “Changing Fortunes: A Zoom Opera” introduces soprano Jolie Rocke as Sharon.

Each performance will begin with a discussion about opera during the pandemic by HOT’s Artistic Director Dr. Lisabeth Miller and the company’s Executive Director Dr. Michelle Fiertek. The evenings conclude with a discussion featuring the cast and creative team.

Wolfson, a New York-based multiple award-winning composer, librettist, and music director writes for both the concert hall and the stage. His “Story Salad” series of stage revues for children toured nationally for fourteen seasons beginning in 1988, and was seen by well over a million children, teachers and parents. Wolfson’s musicals have appeared as part of 2017 New York Musical Festival and the 2017 Midtown International Theatre Festival. His last premiere at HOT was his 2017 chamber opera “The Faith Operas.”

Part one of “Fortune’s Children: A Zoom Opera,” which premiered this past October is available for streaming on Vimeo.