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Jacobs School of Music to collaborate with Metropolitan Opera on new work

For Immediate Release Mar 7, 2024

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater prepares to announce its new season, it is highlighting a collaborative, world-premiere performance with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater will stage a world-premiere performance based on Pulitzer Prize-winning book T... Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater will stage a world-premiere performance based on Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay." Photo courtesy of Penguin Random House

“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” by composer Mason Bates and librettist Gene Scheer, will be part of the 2024-25 season. Commissioned by the Met and co-produced with Indiana University, the work is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Michael Chabon. The piece will have its world premiere at the Jacobs School — opening Nov. 15 and closing Nov. 22 — and will open in a subsequent season at the Met.

The collaboration also includes plans for other events — symposia, master classes and lectures — to round out the educational effect and include as many students as possible.

“We are thrilled that we are about to embark upon this adventure with the Met,” said Abra Bush, the David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean. “We can’t imagine a more exciting and advantageous opportunity for our students. This co-production will be a game changer for the work we do at Jacobs. While we are keen to stage the work itself, we are equally excited to have the creative team from the Met here in Bloomington to engage with our students in a number of ways.”

While the Metropolitan Opera has had a history of traveling shows to the Jacobs School of Music, coming first in 1942 to stage “Aida,” this will be the first co-production between the institutions.

“We’re delighted to have found a co-production partner in the Jacobs School of Music to develop and launch new operas that will help move our art form forward,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s Maria Manetti Shrem General Manager.

“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” tells the story of two cousins, one a refugee from wartime Prague, the other a closeted queer Brooklynite, who team up to create the Escapist, a comic book superhero who takes America by storm as he battles Nazis and frees the oppressed. Meanwhile, both men unexpectedly find love and experience tragic loss before finding a way to move forward with their lives.

IU Jacobs School of Music students will perform all roles and play all instruments in this production. While most of the creative team will travel from New York and London, the overall production will be student driven.

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