Bernadette's Cozy Book Nook
A Zoom Opera
Wine, Zoom, The Handmaid's Tale, and a little healthy debate — what could possibly go wrong?
Directed and edited by Cara Consilvio, this searingly clever virtual comedy features opera legends Brenda Harris, Donnie Ray Albert, Joyce Castle, William Burden, FWO Lesley Resident Artist Gabrielle Gilliam, pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, and the world-renowned Harlem Quartet under the baton of music director and sound editor Andrew Whitfield and technical eye of stage manager Danielle Ranno.
Bernadette’s Cozy Book Nook is Fort Worth Opera’s ninth world premiere and the third creative collaboration between Illick and Campbell, following 2019’s Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, and this season’s delightful Texas-themed children’s opera, Stone Soup.
How to purchase: Tickets for this virtual performance, screening January 14-24, will be available for purchase here beginning December 1, 2020.
Opening Night: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Digitally available January 14 - 24, 2021
Join us for Bernadette’s VIP Experience
- Pre-show virtual reception and toast at 6:45 p.m.
- FWO’s post-show discussion with the entire creative team and cast at 8:15 p.m.
Bernadette’s Cozy Book Nook (World Premiere)
Music by Joe Illick
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Available to view online as part of the FWO Green Room, January 14-24, 2021.
In English with supertitles in English
On April 27, 2020, The Cozy Book Nook, a book club with four retirees as members that usually convenes monthly in person, now meets online for the first time because of the pandemic. Bernadette, the club's president, tightens her tyrannical grip as the members are joined on Zoom by her young niece Eleanor, a recent graduate of Yale, to discuss the book of the month: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. In forty mordantly funny minutes of life in the time of COVID-19, technology falters, political lines are sharply drawn, and Bernadette's book club becomes anything but cozy.
Harlem Quartet’s performances with Cuban pianist/composer Aldo López-Gavilán offer a joyously energetic concert experience. The collaboration reunites López-Gavilán with his older brother, violinist Ilmar Gavilán, who left Cuba at age 14 and went on to co-found Harlem Quartet. López-Gavilán and the quartet showcase scintillating chemistry in a broad variety of repertoire. Programs include American jazz standards, bossa nova classics, and, of course, several original compositions from López-Gavilán that take audiences on a journey through Cuba’s myriad musical traditions. The new documentary Los Hermanos / The Brothers tells the story of Aldo and Ilmar, tracking their shared childhood, their momentous first performances together, and their parallel lives as musicians. A Patchwork Films production by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, it includes concert footage of the quintet, a genre-bending score composed by Aldo, and guest appearances by such legendary musicians as Joshua Bell. Los Hermanos is screening at film festivals worldwide and will be nationally broadcast on PBS in the fall of 2021.
Photo of Pianist and Composer Aldo López-Gavilán and the Harlem Quartet Ilmar Gavilán (violin), Melissa White (violin), Jaime Amador (violin), Felix Umansky (cello); photo by Juan-Miguel Hernandez