Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas Make Love and Art in Modernist Paris in 'A Lyrical Opera Made by Two'

PIFA performance presented by the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts


April 5, 2011

It's your usual cubist modernist lesbian romantic opera, as poet Gertrude Stein and her lifelong companion Alice Toklas come to life in the innovative musical theater work, "A Lyrical Opera Made by Two," presented by the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts.

Performances will be in the Caplan Studio Theater (211 S. Broad Street) April 13-17 at 8 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. The production is part of the month-long Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) taking place April 7 - May 1. 

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Stein and Toklas's passionate and tumultuous relationship unfolded in the heart of 1920s Paris, where their home was widely considered the epicenter of modernist art and Stein presided over a salon for the leading artists and writers of the era.

With a libretto written by Stein herself in the 1920s and a musical score by William Turner in the 1970s, the opera had disappeared from production after the composer's death in 1986 until the score was reconstructed from Turner's papers by director Charles Gilbert, professor of Theater Arts and director of the University's Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. 

The creative team – from set and costume design to performances and orchestrations – is drawn from across the talented faculty and student body at the University of the Arts to present a visually and aurally unique experience for audiences.

Above: Shannon Remley '12 (Musical Theater) as Gertrude Stein (top) and Liz Giovino '11 (Musical Theater) as Alice Toklas.

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