by Douglas J. Cuomo • February 17, 20, 23 & 25, 2018

Pittsburgh Opera is proud to produce our second world premiere in two years. This time the work will be performed in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera’s historic headquarters in the Strip District.

Ashes & Snow, composed by Douglas J. Cuomo, is based on Wilhelm Müller’s 24 poem cycle used as the text for Franz Schubert’s famous Winterreise (“Winter Journey”).

The 24 poems and songs of the Winterreise tell an anguished story of lost love, through what is essentially a single dramatic monologue, sung here by Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist tenor Eric Ferring.

Ashes & Snow is set in the present day, and unfolds in a run-down motel room in the desert of the American West. The protagonist must confront his demons and face up to everything he has done, and all he has lost, in his life. He is searching for forgiveness, enlightenment and atonement.

Musically, Mr. Ferring will be accompanied by three on-stage musicians, who will be playing an electric guitar, trumpet, and piano (keyboards), with electronic sound effects. The musical style is ‘21st century art-song’, infused with acid jazz and punk energy, to create a very raw and emotional experience.

Composer Douglas J. Cuomo is perhaps most well-known for his opera Doubt, based on the play and movie of the same name, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in 2013.

After its world premiere at Pittsburgh Opera, Ashes & Snow will be performed at the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in late 2018.

Ashes & Snow is being developed in partnership with American Opera Projects (AOP). AOP is at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement, commissioning, developing, presenting, and producing opera and music theatre projects, collaborating with young, rising, and established artists. This will be the fourth Pittsburgh Opera project involving AOP, and the third in the past two years. AOP developed Paul’s Case and co-produced its 2013 premiere, produced the world premiere of As One, which Pittsburgh Opera performed in February 2017, and developed The Summer King, which made its world premiere at the Benedum Center in April 2017. 

Cast and Artistic Team

Details and Resources

Season Preview Audio