“Scheib may be the most acclaimed experimental American director whose work you have never seen.” —Time Out New York
Gertrude Stein’s groundbreaking “cubist” novel, The Making of Americans, is the launching pad for this innovative, media-rich chamber opera. Celebrated Boston-based experimental theater director Jay Scheib, Brooklyn-based composer Anthony Gatto, local new-music stalwarts Zeitgeist, and upstart New York string quartet JACK conspire to reimagine Stein’s groundbreaking history of all humanity. This ambitious collaboration unfolds in front of sets and machines designed by Minneapolis artist Chris Larson.
In the work’s three-dimensional staging, storms fill the sky, shingles are ripped from the roof, and a tree is torn from the ground, its roots pointing upward. In addition to percussion, strings, keyboards, live chorus, and six principal singer/actors (including local favorites Bradley Greenwald and David Echelard as well as the Builder’s Association’s Tanya Selvaratnam), the unusual high-energy instrumentation invokes sounds of accordions, autoharps, hurdy-gurdies, and church bells.