“The Christmas Spider”
Read by Nicole Mitchell
Featuring music and words from the opera
by Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos
Illustrations by Ashley Soliman
Produced by The American Opera Project
With performances by
Veronica Tsao as Zoya
Emmanuel Tsao as Dmytro
Kyle Pfortmiller as Fedorov
Andrea Jones-Sojola as Olya Petrina
Mila Henry, piano/percussion
Domenica Fossati, flute
Leah Asher, violin
Meaghan Burke, cello
Video by Andrew McIntyre
Audio by Charles Danner at AMANDA+JAMES
On a bitterly cold Christmas Eve, a poor woodcutter and his two children have no gifts, barely enough to eat, and are in danger of losing their home to an impatient landlady. The surprise discovery of a large, but gentle arachnid leads to a seemingly miraculous turn of good fortune for the family, reinforcing the importance of love and togetherness.
Inspired by a Ukrainian legend (which resulted in the placing of spider ornaments on Christmas trees for a lucky New Year), THE CHRISTMAS SPIDER is the third operatic collaboration between composer Clint Borzoni and librettist John de los Santos following When Adonis Calls and The Copper Queen. Their goal is to dramatize a new tale for all ages, complete with an original yuletide carol, that adds to the rich musical tapestry of the holiday canon.
It is currently being developed as both a live performance for all ages and an animated holiday special.
AOP’s development of The Christmas Spider is made possible in part by
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Howard Gilman Foundation
The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation