Old Man & the Sea

2023

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Image credit: with permission of Dana Jaye Cadman

The Old Man and the Sea is an opera by Paola Presitni, Royce Vavrek and Karmina Šilec that presents a dual track of storytelling by combining the Hemmingway with original portraits of quotidian life to create a look at aging, legacy and our relationship to oceans. The work includes longtime collaborators/muses of Prestini’s including Helga Davis as the narrator and Jeffrey Zeigler as the featured cellist. The cast includes a choir, and brings to life the seminal characters Santiago, Manolin, and the wife, recast as the Virgen del Cobre,  a goddess in Santería, the Afro-Caribbean faith, who was found floating on a wooden board off the coast of eastern Cuba in 1628. Themes of baseball, ecology, religion, and economy help paint a conflict between progress and tradition, craft passion and exploitation, ultimately shedding contemporary perspectives on this timeless tale.


Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and VisionIntoArt; directed by Karmina Šilec and choreographed by Sidra Bell.

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