Our American Cousin
Our American Cousin is being presented by Live in Concert, Inc., a 501©(3) non-profit based in Western Massachusetts.
NORTHAMPTON – In opera, anything can happen as long as you sing about it. In Eric Sawyer and John Shoptaw’s new opera “Our American Cousin,” the events immediately surrounding President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination were examined operatically through the eyes of the actors in the play the president came to Ford’s Theater to attend that fateful evening. The opera premiered Friday evening at the Academy of Music Theater. The production was superb, with excellent singing from the principals across the board…more
Clifton J. Noble Jr.
…[Our American Cousin] has several passages where words and music come together exquisitely. One is the series of choruses in Act I, when the Ford’s Theatre audience turns and reforms into groups representing the war’s human aftermath – amputees, freedmen, nurses, carpetbaggers, etc., singing words culled from real diaries and letters. Here is Sawyer’s most beautiful music, drenched in a bittersweet chromaticism reminiscent of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. These, and a final chorus condemning the cycle of “blood for blood,” might well be packaged separately. They speak clearly to our day.
David Perkins, Boston Globe
Eric Sawyer’s Opera About Lincoln’s Assassination Premieres
…The work is overall an impressive achievement. The opening act is filled with a sense of dark intrigue and anticipation. The portion drawn from the original play, primarily in Act II, is light and entertaining. The final portion is more somber and contemplative…this work deserves many future productions because of its superior artistic, albeit highly intellectual qualities.
Marvin J. Ward, Classical Voice of New England