Opera Maine to Present ‘Rappanhannock County’

By David Salazar

Opera Maine’s 2024 Studio Artist Program is set to present Ricky Ian Gordon and Mark Campbell’s “Rappanhannock County” on June 28 and 30, 2024.

The work is inspired by letters, diaries, personal accounts, and events between 1861-65 and the impact of the Civil War on the titular community in Virginia. The work features five singers in 30 roles. It will be directed by Richard Gammon and features  Grace Heldridge, Grant Jackson,  Marcus King, Goitsemang Lehobye, and Jonas Rimkunas.

“When working on historically-based pieces like ‘Rappahannock County,’ a quote by Jose Rizal, an important figure in Filipino history, comes to mind: ‘Know history, know self. No history, no self.’ I love the idea that we are able to perform this piece as a welcoming way for all to remember the past, examine and learn from it, and also provide an opportunity for discussion and reflection,” Gammon said in an official press release.

“Rappanhannock County”  was co-commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Opera, the University of Richmond, and the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.