Co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and the Theatre du Chatelet,
John Adams' "How Could This Happen: a Nativity Oratorio" will have its
world premiere in Paris in December and the U.S. premiere in Davies Hall
in January, 2001.
To be conducted by Kent Nagano, the work will feature Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine
Hunt Lieberson, and Willard White in both locations; production is by Peter
Sellars. Performances are scheduled in New York and Berlin as well.
The title refers to the Announciation, the angel telling Mary "You found
favor with God... and shall conceive and bring forth a son and he shall
be called Jesus." Mary's response: "How could this happen... as I know
not a man."
At the SF Symphony press conference where the orchestra's 2000-2001 season
was announced (with far fewer vocal works as during the current season),
Adams declined comment on my question if the oratorio is to be subtitled:
"I Looked Up at the Ceiling and Saw the Baby Jesus." (Clearly, the last
Adams-Sellars cooperation was not one of my favorites...:)
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