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Opera & Musical Theater

A Coffin in Egypt: Anatomy of an Opera World Première

Conductor Timothy Myers talks about Ricky Ian Gordon and Leonard Foglia’s opera.


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Conductor Timothy Myers.

Timothy Myers, artistic director and principal conductor of North Carolina Opera, worked closely with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, librettist and stage director Leonard Foglia, and famed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, to bring A Coffin in Egypt to the Houston Grand Opera stage where it received its world première this month.

Based on the Horton Foote play In a Coffin in Egypt, the new opera is essentially a one-woman tour-de-force. 90-year old Myrtle Bledsoe has outlived the other members of her family and looks back over her long and eventful life and sings of her loves, her regrets, and forgiveness. The only other singing voices on stage are those of the African American gospel quartet that, chorus-like, punctuate Myrtle’s reminiscences.

Myers talks with Houston Public Media’s St.John Flynn about his collaborations with the creators of A Coffin in Egypt, and about working with the great Flicka.