Opera Elect Announces Virtual World Premiere of Felix Jarrar’s ‘The Oval Portrait’

By Chris Ruel

Boise, Idaho’s Opera Elect has announced the Feb. 21, 2021 virtual world premiere performance of composer/pianist Felix Jarrar’s “The Oval Portrait,” featuring baritone Andrew Jurden and pianist Chad Spears.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, “Life in Death” and “The Oval Portrait,” Jarrar’s micro opera relates the story of a painter’s descent into drug-induced madness. Jarrar’s score and Jurden’s vocals bring the audience into the mind of the artist as he moves between moments of lucidness and delusion.

Originally scheduled as part of the company’s 2020 New Music Concert Series, the company produced the show for virtual performance rather than canceling. “This last year Opera Elect, like many arts production companies, has had to pivot away from live performance and adapt to virtual reality. We are proud that our first filmed premiere is with Felix Jarrar, Andrew Jurden, and Chad Spears. They have been creatively invigorating to collaborate with and have produced an exquisite, short work we hope will inspire many to peek into the world of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling stories,” Artistic Director Jordan Bowman wrote in an email to OperaWire.

Following the premiere, the company invites the audience to join Jarrar, Jurden, Spears, and Opera Elect’s artistic and managing directors for an exclusive interview.