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An American Tragedy, the opera by Tobias Picker, can be heard in preview this afternoon at 5:30 pm at View in Old Forge.  The 2005 opera will be revived next summer at the Glimmerglass Festival.  (Image:  View)
An American Tragedy, the opera by Tobias Picker, can be heard in preview this afternoon at 5:30 pm at View in Old Forge. The 2005 opera will be revived next summer at the Glimmerglass Festival. (Image: View)

The Great Adirondack Myth Revived in Old Forge

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Later today in Old Forge, members of the Glimmerglass Festival opera company will give a preview of their revival of An American Tragedy.

The opera by Tobias Picker premiered in 2005 at the Metropolitan Opera. It tells the story of Grace Brown, a girl who was murdered in the Adirondacks more than a century ago. This evening's performance will be at View in Old Forge and will include a new aria written for the revival at Glimmerglass.

When An American Tragedy first premiered at the Met, Brian Mann traveled to New York City and to Big Moose Lake. His story first aired in 2005.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

It's an American story, it's our story, it's our mythology. -Tobias Picker
Below is detailed information about this afternoon's program, from View. 

View will present Francesca Zambello and the Glimmerglass Festival preview of the opera An American Tragedy on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in Gould Hall. Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello and singers from the 2013 season will present a program about the opera, An American Tragedy, by composer Tobias Picker and libretto by Gene Scheer.

Theodore Dreiser's classic novel reinterpreted a murder that had already become part of Adirondack mythology
Theodore Dreiser's classic novel reinterpreted a murder that had already become part of Adirondack mythology
Based on the Theodore Dreiser novel about a real crime at Big Moose Lake, An American Tragedy had its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005, directed by Ms. Zambello. It will be given an original new staging at Glimmerglass in 2014, with a score revised by the composer and librettist. Ms. Zambello will talk about the process of bringing this acclaimed opera to the stage at the Met and the exciting revisions that will be premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2014. Excerpts from the opera, including a new aria, will be performed.

Grace Brown
Grace Brown
An American Tragedy is the fictionalized version of the Grace Brown murder, whose body was found in Big Moose Lake in July of 1906. The day before, Chester Gillette and Brown, who had been pressuring him to marry her and to take care of their unborn child, took a rowboat out on the lake where he clubbed her with a tennis racquet and left her to drown. Gillette was arrested for the murder at a nearby hotel in Inlet, New York.

Convicted murderer Chester Gillette
Convicted murderer Chester Gillette
The subsequent trial became known as “The Trial of the Century” and was made in the 1951 film A Place in the Sun starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, and Shelley Winters.

This is a free event offered to the public with support by area sponsors. There will be a small reception at 5:30 p.m. with the one-hour preview at 6 p.m. followed by a Q&A with Ms. Zambello. View is located at 3273 State Route 28 in Old Forge, NY. To learn more about View programming and other upcoming performances please visit their website at www.viewarts.org. There phone number is (315) 369-6411. Reservations are not required, but there is limited seating.

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