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Former President Clinton Paid Tribute in New Work 'Billy Blythe' by Opera Ithaca

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Mar 11, 2016 10:14 PM EST
Former President Clinton Paid Tribute in New Opera 'Billy Blythe' by Opera Ithaca Former President Bill Clinton addresses the audience at Freedom Temple Ministry while campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, February 25, 2016 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The South Carolina Democratic Primary will be held Saturday, February 27. (Photo : Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

It's been announced that Opera Ithaca will stage a new opera about the childhood of former President Bill Clinton. With Hillary as the Democratic--and probably Presidential--frontrunner, this American folk production couldn't come at a better time.

Entitled Billy Blythe, the opera was composed by singer-songwriter Bonnie Montgomery, with a libretto by Britt Barber, who are both native Arkansans along with Bill Clinton. Ms. Montgomery is a 2016 Outlaw Singer of the Year award recipient at the Ameripolitan Music Awards.

According to a press release:

"Billy Blythe is a snapshot of Clinton's life in Arkansas in 1959. His relationship with his family and several events reveal the inspiration behind Clinton's motivations to achieve success despite challenges. The opera has been given an Arkansas concert as well as a 2010 NYC workshop with Metropolis Opera Project. Opera Ithaca's presentation marks the official world premiere production."

The new production will debut at the Kitchen Theatre from April 8-10 with four total performances. Directed by Norm Johnson, the staff also includes music director Richard Montgomery, scenic design by Marthe Hoffmann, lighting design by Evan Hawkins and costume design by Anna Grigo. The opera stars baritone, Garrett Obrycki (Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, Opera Lancaster) as Bill, Dawn Pierce (Opera Tampa, Mobile Opera, Nashville Opera) as his mother Virginia, Erik Angerhofer (Opera Fort Collins, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Central City Opera) as his stepfather Roger and David Neal (Tri Cities Opera, Syracuse Opera, Baltimore Opera) as his grandfather, Eldridge.

With the race for the candidacy nearing an end, it seems that the opera may have inadvertently expressed its inner-politics--meaning it's taking a side with Hillary.

Granted it could be coincidental, an opera about the life of Bill Clinton is certainly a unique and inventive idea.

For now, though, check out former President Clinton below.

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TagsOpera Ithaca, President Bill Clinton, Bonnie Montgomery

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