The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Eastman Opera Theatre

November 2, 2018 | 7:30 PM Kilbourn Hall Discounts Available with valid UR ID Buy TicketsOr call our Box Office 585-274-3000

Eastman Opera Theatre’s (EOT) presents The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon, and libretto by Jean-Claude Van Itallie, November 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Kilbourn Hall. This piece is one of Ricky Ian Gordon’s most personal works, coming to fruition after the loss of his partner, Jeffrey, to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

This moving piece, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera and The American Music Theatre Festival in 1995, has only been performed twice, with the last performance occurring over twenty-two years ago. In fact, there is no recording of the work available, though it features an eclecticism of musical styles: jazzy riffs, prominent percussion, and even some blues, along with bold orchestrations. Steven Daigle, chair of Eastman’s Voice and Opera Department, and director of Eastman Opera Theatre (EOT), describes this unique opera: “Scored for twelve instrumentalists and eight singers, this 90-minute opera teaches us how to approach life and death without fear and uncertainty. How to remain guarded, alert, and focused with purpose.”

Pre-performance talks on 11/1 an 11/2 will be held by Composer Ricky Ian Gordon.


(Thursday/Saturday) (Friday/Sunday)
The Reader Travon Walker Nicholas Saxton
Bass Nathaniel Malkow Michael Galvin
Soprano 1 Sarah Forestieri Lauren Nash Silberstein
Mezzo-Soprano 1 Kathie Kane Veena Akama-Makia
Mezzo-Soprano 2 Maria Vasilevskaya Megan Graves
Tenor 1 Nathaniel Catasca Jonathan Rhodes
Tenor 2 Marcus Jefferson James Henry Benson
The Dying/The Dead One Sally Curran Carley Campbell