Best-Selling Novel, Roscoe, by William Kennedy to Become a New Opera
Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy and award-winning opera composer Evan Mack have agreed to a 2-year development deal to turn Kennedy’s best-selling novel Roscoe into a new American opera.
The story takes place in 1945, V-J-day. Roscoe Conway, after twenty-six years as the second in command of Albany’s notorious political machine, decides to quit politics forever. But there’s no way out, and only his Machiavellian imagination can help him cope with the erupting disasters. Every step leads back to the past — to the early loss of his true love, the takeover of city hall, the machine’s fight with FDR and Al Smith to elect a governor, and the methodical assassination of gangster Jack (Legs) Diamond. “Thick with crime, passion, and backroom banter” (The New Yorker), Roscoe is an odyssey of great scope and linguistic verve, a deadly, comic masterpiece from one of America’s most important writers.
“I feel certain that Roscoe would be delighted by this development in his history,” said author William Kennedy. “His life was grandly operatic in its high drama and its sweeping dimension. Roscoe was attuned to the music of the spheres.”
William Kennedy is one of America’s great authors, both in fiction and non-fiction. His best known works include: Ironweed, Legs, Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game, Roscoe, Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes, and O Albany!
Roscoe, will be Evan Mack’s third full-length opera and second collaboration with librettist, Joshua McGuire. Their first work, The Secret of Luca, has been performed and workshopped in various parts of the US. Mack’s first opera, Angel of the Amazon, was produced by Encompass New Opera Theatre at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC for all of May 2011 and the Original Cast Recording was released worldwide by Albany Records in 2012.