- United States
- 72 mins
Feature Film Competition
|Angela Leson, Rachel Zatcoff, Mike Longo, Jeremy J. Moore, Hillary Schranze, Rachel Arky|
In the cold summer of 1816 a bohemian group of friends moved into the Villa Diodati, a mansion overlooking Lake Geneva. Mary Shelley (soon to pen Frankenstein), her stepsister Claire Clairemont, and the notorious romantic poets Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley have come to escape their daily lives and envelop themselves in creative pursuits. In the dreamlike chamber opera Villa Diodati, the foursome sing of love, death, and premonitions while entertaining each other with new poetry and tales of terror. All is observed by a visitor from the present day who is facing her own creative and moral challenges, and finds herself drawn mysteriously into the action.
About the Composer
Born in Europe, Mira Spektor graduated Sarah Lawrence College and then studied at Mannes and Juilliard. As an international singer, she also produced and sang in educational Classic Opera Programs throughout New York State. Since 1975, she is the Founder/Director of The Aviva Players, dedicated to the performance of women composers. As a composer, her chamber operas include: Villa Diodati with lyrics by Colette Inez as well as Byron, Shelley, Spektor and Wordsworth; Giovanni the Fearless — a new folk opera to Carolyn Balducci’s libretto based on an Italian fable; Lady of the Castle, based on Lea Goldberg’s play about one of the “Hidden Children” of the Holocaust, heard in New York, Berlin and London; The Passion of Lizzie Borden, set to Ruth Whitman’s murder mystery poem, filmed for television by Pratt Institute, and The Housewives’ Cantata, a feminist musical revue to June Siegel’s lyrics that introduced the first US Lady President, and was the last production of the legendary Cheryl Crawford. Spektor’s scores for film include Double Edge with Faye Dunaway and the music for the PBS documentaries Art in its Soul and Serious Comics. She has written many English, French and German recital and cabaret songs, heard in the US, Europe and Israel. Spektor has recorded on Westminster, Concert Hall, Guilde International du Disque, Original Cast Records, Capstone and AirPlay. Her memberships now include: BMI, Dramatist Guild, Opera America, League of Professional Theater Women, NYWC, and CMA. Her CDs and book of poems: The Road to November is available at www.bookhampton.com.
Website: www.miraspektor.com; www.theavivaplayers.org.
About the Lyricist
A Brussels-born American poet and a faculty member at Columbia University’s Undergraduate Writing Program, Colette Inez has published ten poetry collections and has won the Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and many other awards. Her memoir, The Secret of M. Dulong, was released in 2008 by The University of Wisconsin Press. A graduate of Hunter College, Inez has taught at Bucknell University, Ohio University, Denison University, State University of New York (Stony Brook), Hunter College, University of Tennessee (Knoxville), The New School and, since 1983, Columbia University. Her first book, The Woman Who Loved Worms (1972), was adapted into a dance performance by the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company. Her papers can now be accessed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center of Boston University. Recently announced is the “Colette Inez Poetry Prize” to be awarded annually by the Academy of American Poets to graduate students. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, a Freelance writer and columnist.
About the Director
A director and playwright based in New York City, Rob Urbinati is also Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre. He has directed for The Public Theatre, Classic Stage Company, York Theatre, The Culture Project, Abingdon Theatre, Pearl Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre and New York University, as well as theaters and universities across the country. Rob’s plays as a writer include Hazelwood Jr. High, West Moon Street and Death By Design, all published by Samuel French.