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Opus

Opus
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Michael Hollinger
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 70
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0822223635
ISBN-13: 9780822223634

About the Play:

Opus is a full-length drama by Michael Hollinger. A world-famous string quartet threatens to unravel when its most talented member goes missing just before a prestigious White House performance. A young woman is hired to take his place – but with only days left to prepare, the musicians must navigate the creative, yet often disharmonious, path of creating a masterpiece.

Opus centers on the world-renowned Lazara String Quartet struggling to prepare for their highest-profile performance when its most talented member, and founder of the quartet, mysteriously disappears. Three of the male quartet members have played together since music school. They take a chance on a gifted but relatively inexperienced young woman some 20 years younger than any of the men as the replacement. With only a few days to rehearse a gruelling Beethoven masterpiece, while the four struggle to prepare for a televised ceremony at the White House, they're haunted by their former colleague's sudden disappearance. Their rehearsal room becomes a pressure-cooker as passions rise, sparks ignite, and personalities clash, but violinist-turned-playwright Michael Hollinger skillfully establishes how four very distinct personalities must, in the pursuit of artistic excellence, synthesize with one another to create one seamless sound. Opus garnered the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, and nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner Awards for Best New Play.

Opus premiered in 2006 at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia. The New York premier was in 2007 at the 59E59 Theaters as part of the Primary Stages season. Following its off-Broadway run, Opus became one of the most-produced plays in America, garnering Barrymore and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Play, a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Drama Critics Circle, and nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner Awards.

Cast: 1 woman, 4 men

What people say:

"Sex, drugs and chamber music! Opus considers the matter of music making with an intimate, appraising eye, showing us the sweat, the drudgery and the delicate balance of personalities that lie behind the creation of a seemingly effortless performance. An absorbing new play, marked with a nuanced intelligence in its depiction of the complex relationship between musicians' lives and their art." — New York Times

"A taut, smart, thoroughly entertaining drama." — Newsday

"A tart and witty chamber piece about the politics and passions that threaten a classical string quartet. Like a good quartet, Opus is an intimate, intense and profoundly moving conversation among artists." — Time Out NY

"From its opening strains to its stunning climax, Opus is worthy of scores of bravissimos." — BroadwayWorld.com

About the Playwright:

Michael Hollinger is an American playwright who is the author of two dozen plays, including comedies, dramas, musicals, translation/adaptation, and plays for children. He is currently an associate professor of Theatre at Villanova University.

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