Onstage: Of Mice and Men

CCM presents 'Of Mice and Men' in a production by Nic Muni. John Steinbeck's bleak novella about the tragic bond between two itinerant farm hands "has one dramatic scene after another," says composer Carlisle Floyd, who wrote the libretto (which Steinbec

Most opera composers count themselves lucky if they get more than one production. By that reckoning, Carlisle Floyd’s two major works are off the charts. Susannah is an American classic, performed by major companies throughout the world, and this weekend, CCM presents Of Mice and Men in a production by Nic Muni. John Steinbeck’s bleak novella about the tragic bond between two itinerant farm hands “has one dramatic scene after another,” says Floyd who wrote the libretto (which Steinbeck approved) and “stripped away the nonessentials.”

Steinbeck’s widow says the opera was exactly what he wanted: a story of attachment in a world of isolation. Floyd’s music is spiky and challenging, a reflection of the harsh, arid setting. The score is a challenge for professional orchestras and a conservatory performance is a rarity. “But if any place can do it, CCM can,” Floyd says.

Opening night Thursday features a pre-performance talk by Maestro Floyd and a Q&A session following the performance with the composer, director Muni and conductor Mark Gibson. Performances run Thursday-Sunday at Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are $15-$28.

Find showtimes, buy tickets and get theater details here.

Anne Arenstein

Anne Arenstein is a frequent contributor to CityBeat, focusing on the performing arts. She has written for the Enquirer, the Cincinnati Symphony, Santa Fe Opera and Cincinnati Opera, and conducted interviews for WVXU's Around Cincinnati. In 2009, Anne was named an NEA Fellow in Classical Music and Opera Journalism...
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