The True Story of the Man who Saved Humanity from Nuclear Annihilation During a Tipping Point in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Jacaranda Presents Concert Premiere of Arkhipov, a Groundbreaking Opera by Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann; Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22, 2022, 8 pm, at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City
September 28, 2022
The acclaimed concert series Jacaranda continues its quest to inspire audiences with the long-awaited concert premiere of ARKHIPOV, an opera by composer Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann, winner of Opera America's 2022 Campbell Librettist Prize. ARKHIPOV chronicles the enthralling true story of the journey of the Soviet nuclear submarine B-59, the events leading to a critical tipping point during the Cold War's Cuban Missile Crisis, and the man responsible for defusing the conflict. Conductor Daniela Candillari makes her Jacaranda debut, leading two back-to-back performances on Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22, 8 pm, at The Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City. Presented in partnership with the Wende Museum of the Cold War, ARKHIPOV features ten singers plus the eighteen-member Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble and runs 105 minutes. Director Elkhanah Pulitzer and Cori Ellison bring their artistry to the performance.
"Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann have created a heart-stopping experience set in a submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962," says Jacaranda Artistic and Executive Director Patrick Scott. "On October 27,, 2022, just days after our performance, it will be 60 years since nuclear Armageddon was barely averted through the moral conviction of one man, whose heroism was erased by the Soviet Union for four decades. Jacaranda has always been committed to presenting stories of deep historical importance that continue to be relevant today. Against the current backdrop of Ukrainian heroism and Russian aggression, Arkhipov's story, only recently brought to light, is particularly compelling and profound."
For a brief, pivotal moment, Fleet Chief of Staff Vasili Arkhipov's presence of mind was all that would stand between humanity's existence and its annihilation. Filtered through the memory of Arkhipov's widow Olga, who has been tasked by her husband with telling his story-and must do so under interrogation after his death-ARKHIPOV is a powerfully moving exploration of grace under pressure, human fallibility, and our potential to overcome almost impossible odds.
Tickets and Information - Tickets ($45 and $75) are available at jacarandamusic.org. The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd in Culver City.
About the Artists (in alphabetical order)
Serbian-born conductor Daniela Candillari continues to garner praise for her dynamic and compelling performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Recognized for her "confidence and apparently inexhaustible verve" (The New York Times) and "powerful and breathtaking performances" (Review STL), Candillari enters her second season as both Principal Conductor at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Principal Opera Conductor at Music Academy.
Cori Ellison, a leading creative figure in the opera world, has been staff Dramaturg at Santa Fe Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, and New York City Opera. She is a founding faculty member of American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program and has developed new operatic works for Glyndebourne, Icelandic Opera, Canadian Opera, Norwegian Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Chicago Opera Theater. As production dramaturg, she has shepherded projects at Salzburg Landestheater, Washington National Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Boston, and Bard Summerscape. A faculty member at The Juilliard School and the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Program for Singers, she works with singers at young artist programs and conservatories nationwide. She creates supertitles for opera companies worldwide, and helped launch Met Titles, the Met's simultaneous translation system. Her English singing translations include Hansel and Gretel, La vestale and Shostakovich's Cherry Tree Towers.
Stephanie Fleischmann is an award-winning librettist and playwright whose lyrical monologues" (The New York Times), "finely tuned" opera libretti (Opera News), plays and music-theater works have been performed internationally and across the U.S. Opera libretti include In a Grove (music by Christopher Cerrone, Pittsburgh Opera), Dido Reimagined (Melinda Wagner, for Dawn Upshaw/Brentano Quartet), Poppaea (Michael Hersch, Wien Modern), After the Storm (David Hanlon, Houston Grand Opera), and The Long Walk (Jeremy Howard Beck, Opera Saratoga). Upcoming premieres include, Another City (Jeremy Howard Beck, HGO), The Pigeon Keeper (David Hanlon, Santa Fe Opera), MEDEA (Michael Hersch, MusikFabrik, Cologne) and the west coast premiere of IN A GROVE (Christopher Cerrone, LA Opera).
Peter Knell is noted for composing music that is meticulously crafted for both instruments and voices, making full use of their expressive and coloristic potential. His work, described as "gratefully idiomatic" (Los Angeles Times), has been hailed for its "subtle virtuosity" (MusicWeb International) and has been widely performed in the U.S. and abroad by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Hungarian Radio Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Knell is the recipient of numerous national and international awards. Recordings of his music are available on the Navona, Sono Luminus, ARS Produktion, and OehmsClassics labels and all major streaming services.
Elkhanah Pulitzer is an esteemed director of opera and theater known for her bold, nuanced, and innovative stage directions. Her recent projects include David Lang's premiere of prisoner of state at the New York Philharmonic; the live tour of Esperanza Spalding's new album, 12 Little Spells; and DIORAMA, an art installation at the I.O.U. in San Francisco. She has directed projects with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, San Francisco Symphony, LA Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, West Edge Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company, among others. She is the director and libretto consultant for the world premiere of San Francisco Opera's production of John Adam's Anthony and Cleopatra, which opens the company's 100th season on September 10 – October 5, 2022.
Jacaranda Music produces classical music adventures designed to awaken curiosity, passion, and discovery with a spirit of inclusion. By engaging a wide range of audiences, these curated concerts based primarily in Santa Monica since 2003, advance the repertoire of soloists and ensembles with live music, recordings, music videos, and education. Founded October 4, 2003, by arts impresario Patrick Scott and conductor/organist Mark Alan Hilt, Jacaranda produces a concert series that features exciting current and rising stars in the world of classical music performance with program notes singled out by Classical Voice as "so absorbing that you don't want to pry your eyes away from the pages... plenty of context for an alert, adventuresome concertgoer."
The Kirk Douglas Theatre - 9820 Washington Blvd. - Culver City, CA 90232
RUN TIME: 105 minutes
TICKET PRICES AND INFORMATION: $45 and $75