"It’s a love triangle—with both figures “vying for the love of the city.”
The two figures are Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. But opera?
A Marvelous Order: the Death and Life of Great American Cities—and its creators -- will present scenes from the work-in-progress at a gala fundraising performance on November 2. The event will be staged at National Sawdust, a just-minted music venue in a former sawdust factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A “pre-premiere” is slated for next spring at Williams College. Let's hope it makes its way to Buffalo!
"On one side: Robert Moses, builder of highways and bridges, destroyer of slums, visionary creator of parks. The Power Broker. On the other: Jane Jacobs, observer of the “ballet of the good city sidewalk,” champion of the human scale, preserver of neighborhoods. The Eyes on the Street."
"Frankel, a native New Yorker like composer Greenstein, says the opera draws the passion for the city that so many of its residents feel. “As New Yorkers, we have enormous emotional attachment to our city,” he says. “I think people all over the world have that kind of emotional relationship to place.”
"Moses and Jacobs, he says, embody that passion, but on a level that is far above the reach of the average citizen. “They’re larger-than-life figures that are better than us,” he says. “They’re almost mythological in their capabilities, in terms of observation and thought, in their ability to lead.” Worthy subjects indeed of the grand operatic treatment."