Precocious Addie Mills is smart and energetic, just like the mother she never knew. Addie has no idea why her father resents the holidays so intensely, refusing even to allow a Christmas tree in the house. But when she brings home a tree she won in a school contest, it paves the way for a miracle of sorts—her father’s broken soul is transformed. The House without a Christmas Tree, a new opera by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek that premiered at Houston Grand Opera in 2017, is based on the book by Gail Rock and the beloved 1972 television movie of the same name. Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956 in Oceanside, NY) studied piano, composition and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University. After moving to New York City, he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. Mr. Gordon’s songs have been performed and or recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Judy Collins, Kelli O’Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrea Marcovicci, and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, among many others. Royce Vavrek is a Canada-born, Brooklyn-based librettist and lyricist who has been called “the indie Hofmannsthal” (The New Yorker) a “Metastasio of the downtown opera scene” (The Washington Post), “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times), and “one of the most celebrated and sought after librettists in the world” (CBC Radio). His opera “Angel’s Bone” with composer Du Yun was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
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