Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera (Film)
Thurs., April 8, 2021
Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera follows a composer as he adapts a 1912 dime novel masterpiece into a modern American opera. Zane Grey’s tale Riders of the Purple Sage flew off bookshelves around the world and is on the Library of Congress list of “One Hundred Books that Shaped America.”
A century later, composer Craig Bohmler dives into Zane Grey’s cabin during a rainstorm. There, amidst posters from Grey’s Hollywood Westerns, he discovers a story with the grand dimensions of opera. What begins as a challenge between a composer and his librettist evolves into a creative posse of artists, musicians, and singers sharing a singular vision. When fine art painter Ed Mell translates Arizona’s landscape into a monumental set, the new work accelerates toward its world premiere. The power of an American classic is reclaimed opening night in an opera that marries deep musical traditions, cutting-edge stagecraft and matinee heroes.
Half of all proceeds benefit The Actors Fund, a human resources organization that provides a safety net for all entertainment professionals—onstage and backstage, in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance.