Burning Bright
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Based on the John Steinbeck novel, this is a very colorful, accessible American opera.

Frank Lewin was born in Breslau, Germany, but came to the United States in 1940. He studied composition with among others Hans David and Roy Harris before attending Yale University where his teachers were Richard Donovan and Paul Hindemith. The composer himself was on the faculty of the Yale School of Music from 1971 to 1992, teaching composition for film. During this period he also taught the course Music in Modern Media at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He has been active as an editor and engineer of recorded music. In October 1950, Frank Lewin - then a composition student at Yale - saw John Steinbeck's play Burning Bright in New Haven's Schubert Theater. The play was on its way to Broadway, where it found little favor. Lewin, however, was deeply impressed by the story. It seemed ideally suited for an opera. He never forgot Burning Bright. In 1967, he took out an option to turn the play into an opera. During the next ten years, Lewin did research for the opera and worked on a libretto. In 1977, he began composing the music; he completed the score in January 1989. The opera had its premiere in Woolsey Hall in November, 1993 and was warmly received by audiences and critics alike. In July 2000, the Opera Festival of New Jersey presented two performances in Princeton's McCarter Theater. Once again this wonderful opera was well received.
Frank Lewin, composer
Burning Bright, Opera in Three Acts
Sherry Overholt, Rinde Eckert, Lee Velta, Scott Altman, New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Rossen Milanov, conductor

"...Lewin provides rapturous and evocative writing that enables the characters to come across as flesh-and-blood figures...Lewin's opera makes a powerful, poignant impact." (Gramophone)
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