Commissioned by Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series, and with a libretto by Fritz Bell and William A. Fregosi, Anne Hutchinson dramatizes the trial of the most notorious woman in 17th-century Boston. From her dynamic showdowns with Governor John Winthrop to her passionate relationship and heretical break with Reverend John Cotton, we see Anne's radical ideas about freedom, religion, and women scandalize Puritan New England and help shape the future of America.
Anne Hutchinson (70 minutes)
Cast: contralto, 2 tenors, 3 baritones, chorus
Instrumentation: clarinet, horn, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass
“Shore’s tonal music, played by an eight-member chamber orchestra of five strings, clarinet, bassoon, and horn, did not need dissonance to convey high drama. The vocal line is dramatically effective from Winthrop’s initial loud calling of Hutchinson to face the court, through all of the chorus’s generally supportive comments, Anne’s strong self-defense, and the often impassioned speeches of the other characters. I was surprised by and drawn to the very frequent instances of orchestral doubling of the vocal line, which made histrionic sense. Overall, the small orchestra was a potent source of emotion. Shore includes compelling arias for Anne, Winthrop, and Cotton. His style is his own, not harking back to Puccini or sounding ‘neo-romantic.’”
—John Deredita, Opera ListServ, January 27, 2014
(Photo credit: Elizabeth Soh. The Intermezzo Opera production of Anne Hutchinson, directed by Kirsten Cairns. From left to right, Jason McStoots, Marion Dry, Ray Bauwens, and David Kravitz.)