New York Premiere

Paul’s Case

January 8-13, 2014 at HERE's Mainstage Theatre

Subsisting in grimy turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh, a misfit high school boy finds an escape. Swept up by dreams of a more glamorous world, his flight and ultimate dissolution are chronicled in the New York premiere of the chamber opera, Paul’s Case. With music that superimposes new and old styles—post-minimal and baroque—composer Gregory Spears and playwright Kathryn Walat’s poignant operatic adaptation of Willa Cather’s short story traces Paul’s voyage from his repressive surroundings to New York City’s lavish Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A timeless story with a gripping climax, Paul’s Case reveals one young man’s destructive blend of defiance and fragility.


Based on the short story “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather.


Paul’s Case premiered at UrbanArias in Washington DC, and was developed by AOP in part with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Produced with the support of American Opera Projects.
An UrbanArias production.


Photos by Noah Stern Weber.

Performed by:
Jonathan Blalock
Amanda Crider
Keith Phares
Erin Sanzero
Jim Shaffran
Michael Slattery
Melissa Wimbish


Set Design: Tim Mackabee
Costume Design: Amanda Seymour
Light Design: Eric Southern
Stage Manager: Michael Sperber


Keith Chambers (Piano)
American Modern Ensemble