In Series, for many years under the leadership of its founder Carla Hübner, will begin its first season with Timothy Nelson as Artistic Director this September, mashing great composers up with great writers, updating old texts and giving them new meaning, and, for the holidays and the new year, bringing us some old favorites.
The In Series season will start off with a world premiere work by its new Artistic Director. Imagine this: it is 1901, and Giuseppe Verdi is on his deathbed. What is his great regret? That he never finished his opera, King Lear. But in V.E.R.D.I. – The Promised End we see this opera as it might have been, along with the great artist taking his leave of the planet to the music of his own Requiem. Composed and conducted by Paul Leavitt with a libretto by Nelson, V.E.R.D.I. – The Promised End features eight opera singers, and will be sung in English and Latin, with English dialogue. Steven Scott Mazzola will direct; from September 8-23, 2018, at the Source.
From Verdi and Shakespeare to Mozart and T.S. Elliot: Mozart’s famed The Marriage of Figaro merges with Elliot’s Four Quartets to become Figaro in Four Quartets. This production will feature visuals by the Dutch artist Guus Mostart. Nelson will direct; in Italian with English dialogue and supertitles. Figaro in Four Quartets will run from October 20 to 28 of this year at GALA Hispanic Theatre.
In Series will kick off the holiday season with the music of the beloved popular composer, Victor Herbert. In Operetta Wonderland: the Music of Victor Herbert, Brian J. Shaw will direct selections from Babes in Toyland, Sweethearts, Naughty Marietta, and The Enchantress, among others. This production will be at the D.C. Scottish Rite Temple (2800 16th Street NW) between November 28 and December 2, 2018.
Next, the company will bring in the new year with an old favorite. From U Street to the Cotton Club is the story of a young woman who, looking through her late grandmother’s effects, finds herself transported to the days of the Harlem Renaissance, as it was experienced in DC and the Large Apple. KenYatta Rogers directs – as he did when In Series did Sybil R. Williams’ script in 2009. About the earlier show, DCTS’ Debbie Minter Jackson observed, “the production has more of a personal storyline than the typical musical revue, and direction by KenYatta Rogers assures a solid theatrical base. The talented performers and crowd pleasing music have all the makings of a full fledged hit for In Series.” The Source is the venue for this production, which will run from January 5th to the 20th of next year.
If you’re a fan of the zarzuela, you’re probably familiar with Ricardo de la Vega and Tomás Bretón’s La Verbana de la Paloma. So is Anna Deeny Morales – so familiar, in fact, that she has updated it as La Paloma – At the Wall, and placed it in Friendship Park, at the border between San Diego and Tijuana. There’s a wall, but people deal with it. From March 23 to 31, 2019; in English and Spanish with supertitles. Nick Olcott directs this production, which will run at GALA Hispanic Theatre.
In Series will close its 2018-2019 season by dipping deeply into the past – 280 years ago, for George Frideric Handel’s Serse. Handel dipped back even more deeply – to 480 B.C., and the Persian King Xerxes, for his story. Serse is a three-act opera about a King determined to wed a woman who instead loves the King’s brother, who loves her right back. It received a disastrous reception in 1737 – Handel had dared to put comedy in an opera! – but by the first third of the last century it had garnered quite a popular following. Nelson has adapted (and will conduct) it as The Tale of Serse; the orchestra will play using period instruments. This production will run from June 1 to 9 of next year at Atlas.
Season tickets to In Series are not yet available online. To subscribe, call 202.204.7763.