"I would have happily stayed to hear it performed again"
- The New York Times

An Opera in One Act
By Louis Karchin
Based on an English Translation by Barnett Shaw of a play by Alexandre Dumas, père

About Romulus

Two confirmed bachelors, Celestus and Frantz, have a very comfortable living in their small cottage home in 19th Century Austria. Genially cared for by Celestus’ sister Martha and able to dedicate themselves entirely to their studies of astronomy and philosophy, their lives are simple and perfect --until a baby arrives in a basket.

Romulus marks the 13th World Premiere opera produced by American Opera Projects. It is the second collaboration with Works & Process at the Guggenheim (Mary Sharp Cronson, producer).

About the Creators

Louis Karchin (composer)
A composer of "fearless eloquence" (Andrew Porter, The New Yorker), Louis Karchin has received significant acclaim for a compositional portfolio of over 60 works.  The American Academy of Arts and Letters, in its most recent citation to the composer, singled out the "unparalleled sense of line and unity" of Karchin's music; an earlier citation hailed his Songs of John Keats as "a striking conception, in which the sonic properties of the poetry interact with musical material in unprecedented fusion...". His two recent extended vocal-instrumental song cycles for baritone, Orpheus, and American Visions, have garnered high critical praise, and a previous cycle for soprano, Songs of Distance and Light, was hailed at its premiere by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a work of coruscating beauty... one of the signal new music events of the season."  With commissions and performances by some of the world's most acclaimed ensembles for new music--the Group for Contemporary Music, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Delta Ensemble of Amsterdam, Holland, and the Louisville Orchestra among them--Karchin's music has been heard throughout the United States, Europe, and in the Far East.  The British music journal, Contemporary Music Review singled out Karchin as one of twenty-five of the most exciting American composers born in the decade of the 1950's, and Karchin was chosen as one of 53 composers selected to represent New York at the turn of the Millennium in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's "Great Day in New York" Festival at Alice Tully Hall. Karchin is Professor of Music in NYU's Faculty of Arts and Science, teaching in an advanced graduate program in composition, which he organized in 1989. Mr. Karchin lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, with his wife, Julie Sirota Karchin, and their daughters, Marisa and Lindsay.

Alexandre Dumas, perè (author)
1802-1870, was one of the most famous French writers of the 19th century. Dumas is best known for historical adventure novels like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, both written within the space of two years, 1844-45, and which belong to the foundation works of popular culture. He was among the first, along with Honoré de Balzac and Eugène Sue, who fully used the possibilities of roman feuilleton, the serial novel. Dumas is credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France.

AOP Presentations

May 20, 21 - 7:30 PM
by Louis Karchin
in association with The Washington Square Ensemble
Works and Process at the Guggenheim
at the Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Guggenheim Museum
5th Ave at 89th St


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