April 24, 2016
Executive Producer Rolando Sanz brought the world premiere of Andrew Lippa's latest work, a concept opera called I Am Anne Hutchinson / I Am Harvey Milk, to the Music Center at Strathmore near Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Starring Kristin Chenoweth and composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa, the work deals with two reluctant prophets speaking up for women's rights and gay rights.
The production was met with critical acclaim, with the Washington Post raving, "This is music as activism, celebratory and inspirational. Strathmore gets very high marks for pulling together this premiere; surely – hopefully – this won’t be the last time Lippa and Chenoweth perform Anne/Harvey with the full battalion of musical support marshaled here."
Featuring forces of 175 musicians, the production was directed by Noah Himmelstein. Before the premiere, Rolando spoke with Classicalite and Broadway World Opera about the experience of mounting the project and the middle-of-the-night stroke of inspiration that led to coining the new "concept opera" genre.