Six Characters in Search of an Author is an opera in three acts by composer Hugo Weisgall. The work uses an English libretto by Denis Johnston that is based on the play of the same name by Luigi Pirandello. The opera was commissioned by the New York City Opera under the leadership Julius Rudel. It premiered at New York City Center on April 26, 1959 in a production staged by William Ball and using sets and costumes designed by Gary Smith.
The work was mounted in 1990 by the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Lyric Opera Center for American Artists in 1990, a production which was recorded and released on the New World Records label. The production was conducted by Lee Schaenen and starred Kevin Anderson as The Director, Bruce Fowler as The Tennore Buffo, Andrew Schroeder as The Accompanist, Michael Wadsworth as The Basso Cantante, Philip Zawisza as The Stage Manager, Elizabeth Futral as The Coloratura, Susan Foster as The Prompter, Joslyn King as The Mezzo, Dianne Pritchett as The Wardrobe Mistress, Paula LoVerne as Madame Pace, Robert Orth as The Father, Gary Lehman as The Son, Elizabeth Byrne as The Stepdaughter, and Nancy Maultsby as The Mother.
Another professional production was mounted in 2000 at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey for the Opera Festival of New Jersey.
Oberlin College, the Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign mounted student productions in 1974, 1995, and 2002 respectively.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast,|
April 26, 1959
(Conductor: – Sylvan Levin)
|The Director||tenor||Ernest McChesney|
|The Tenore Buffo||tenor||Grant Williams|
|The Accompanist||baritone||Craig Timberlake|
|The Basso Cantante||bass||John Macurdy|
|The Stage Manager||baritone||Arnold Voketaitis|
|The Coloratura||soprano||Beverly Sills|
|The Prompter||soprano||Anita Darian|
|The Mezzo||mezzo-soprano||Regina Sarfaty|
|The Wardrobe Mistress||contralto||Elizabeth Mannion|
|Another tenor||tenor||Anthony Balestrieri|
|The Father||baritone||Paul Ukena|
|The Son||baritone||Robert Trehy|
|The Stepdaughter||soprano||Adelaide Bishop|
|The Mother||mezzo-soprano||Patricia Neway|
|Madame Pace||contralto||Ruth Kobart|
|The Boy||speaking role||Marc Sullivan|
|The Child||speaking role||Barbara Becker|
|The Seven Deadly Sins||soprano, soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto,
tenor, baritone, bass
|Mary LeSawyer, Jennie Andrea, Lou Rodgers, Rita Metzger,|
William Saxon, George del Monte, Peter Sliker
|Chorus Mistress, Wardrobe Assistants, Carpenters, Prop Men||Opera Chorus|
- ^ a b Howard Taubman (April 27, 1959). "Weisgall's 'Six Characters'; Opera Based on Play by Pirandello Bows". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
- ^ Six Characters in Search of an Author at usopera.com