Wrapping up the current season of Opera Philadelphia productions, celebrated mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade makes her Opera Philadelphia debut.
In A Coffin in Egypt, Von Stade takes the stage as a 90-year old matriarch looking back on her long much-lived life, filling the intimate Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, starting Friday, June 6.
The formidable Von Stade, who was lured out of retirement to star in this production, fully commands the stage in the lead role of Myrtle Bledsoe, an embittered grand dame who has outlived her philandering husband, two children, and most everyone else she’s known.
As she reflects on her past, these and other characters come to life, including a gospel chorus that adds soulful harmonies to the one-act chamber drama.
A Coffin in Egypt is the third production from Opera Philadelphia’s American Repertoire Program, which is dedicated to producing new American work.
The opera is based on the play of the same name, by Pulitzer Prize-winning Horton Foote, who wrote 52 plays and won two Academy Awards for his screenplays for Tender Mercies and To Kill a Mockingbird. Foote’s play The Trip to Bountiful has similarities to A Coffin in Egypt: both center on an elderly female protagonist and both are infused with uniquely Texan banter.
Tickets, starting at $21, are available online and for a sneak peek of the production, check out the video below.
A Coffin in Egypt
When: June 6-15
Where: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad Street
More info: www.operaphila.org