The Black Swan
Composer: Thomas Whitman
Composer Bio: Thomas Whitman (b. 1960) began his musical studies with cellist Harry Wimmer. His first composition teachers were Gerald Levinson, Thomas Oboe Lee, and Joan Panetti at Swarthmore College and Max Lifchitz of Columbia University. He subsequently earned a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, where his teachers included George Crumb, Jay Reise, and Richard Wernick

Whitman’s many prizes and honors include an ASCAP Foundation Grant and artist residencies at the MacDowell colony and at Yaddo. He has received commissions from New York's North/South Consonance, Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, Boston's ALEA III, Network for New Music, and The Philadelphia Singers, among others.
Librettist: Nathalie Anderson
Librettist Bio: Nathalie Anderson is a poet, librettist and educator. Her first book, Following Fred Astaire, won the 1998 Washington Prize from The Word Works, and her second, Crawlers, has won the 2005 McGovern Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and will be published by Ashland in 2006. A third collection, Quiver, is currently under consideration by publishers.

Professor Anderson's poems have been singled out for prizes and special recognition from the Joseph Campbell Society, The Cumberland Poetry Review, Inkwell Magazine, The Madison Review, New Millennium Writings, Nimrod, North American Review, and The Southern Anthology, and have also appeared in APR's Philly Edition, Cimmaron Review, Cross Connect, Denver Quarterly, DoubleTake, Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Recorder, Southern Poetry Review, and Spazio Humano; and in the Ulster Museum's collection of visual art and poetry titled A Conversation Piece.

She has authored libretti for two operas -- The Black Swan and Sukey in the Dark -- and is currently at work on a third collaboration with the composer Thomas Whitman and Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, an operatic version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia."
Other Artistic Personnel: Sarah Caldwell (Director)
James Freeman (Conductor)
Herbert Senn and Helen Pond (Set Design and Construction)
Original Cast: Tamara Matthews (Anna)
Freda Herseth (Rosalie)
David Kravitz (Ken)
Premiere Date: September 11, 1998
Producing Company: Orchestra 2001, in collaboration with Swarthmore College
Description: Setting: 1922, Düsseldorf, Germany.
The widow Rosalie von Tummler lives placidly with her daughter Anna, an abstract painter. Hoping to kindle romance for Anna, Rosalie hires a young American, Ken Keaton, as an English tutor. Rosalie, herself, falls in love with Ken. At first, she is horrified by her own desire, but as she gradually gives herself over to love, she begins to grow radiant, more youthful. After an outing to see the famous swans at Holterhof Castle, Rosalie discovers the true explanation for her apparent rejuvenation--paradoxically, an advanced cancer has mimicked renewed youth. In the final scene, Rosalie, though weak from illness, comforts her daughter with a vision of perennial natural vitality. Anna leads Ken to see Rosalie when she is still beautiful, youthful, desirable, desiring.
Length: 01:35
Total Acts: 2
Orchestration: 4 woodwinds, 2 brass, 2 percussion, harp, pianoforte, 5 strings.
Musical Style: Lush; lyrical; coloristic; influenced by Debussy, Mahler, Berg, Britten, and Crumb
Contact: Barbara Murray, Orchestra 2001
Address: 1108 Wilde Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
E-mail Address:
Phone: 610-328-8239 or 610-446-8322
Composer Web Site:
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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