Theo Popov's New Opera, The Halloween Tree, Featured at InsightALT Festival

Theo Popov's New Opera, The Halloween Tree, Featured at InsightALT Festival

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

KHN Alum (2018) Theo Popov, composer, announced his opera, The Halloween Tree, commissioned by NYC's American Lyric Theater (ALT) in partnership with the Bradbury estate, was one of three feature operas at the new InsightALT Festival in February. The opera, with music by Theo Popov and libretto by Tony Asaro, premiered on October 30, 2019 at Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Concert Hall. 

Two other operas were also featured at the first InsightALT along with The Halloween Tree at Manhattan's The Ailey Citigroup Theater were Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant, a comic mystery composed by Evan Meier with libretto by E.M. Lewis; The Opposable Thumb, music by Liliya Ugay and libretto by Julian Crouch.

Theo Popov's artist statement about The Halloween Tree: “There are moments in Bradbury’s novel that just beg for an operatic setting: the pumpkin chorus on the Halloween Tree, the funeral processions in antiquity, the lamentations of the Druids, the flight of the witches, the communal celebrations of the Mexican Day of the Dead… It is as if Bradbury himself was thinking of a dramatic setting in most scenes of the novel. Most of all, the excited pace of the narrative, which can glimpse hundreds of years of history in mere moments, makes the story ideal for a staged adventure children and parents alike would enjoy. Writing two puppet shows has taught me that kids are unfailingly enthusiastic about musically-driven drama. In fact, their unrestrained imaginations often allow them to enter the medium of singing much more successfully than adults can!” 

Led by a mysterious guide, a group of children undertake an unforgettable journey to find their friend Pipkin, who has disappeared on Halloween night. Traveling across space and time, from Egypt to Mexico, from antiquity to modern times, a group of children undertake an epic journey to find their friend Pipkin. Through their search, the children learn about the cultural and historical traditions that have led to the celebration of Halloween today.

Theo Popov is an LA-based composer of opera, theater and dance music. After a childhood spent singing Bulgarian folklore and Christian Orthodox songs, he began his formal compositional training by studying electronic music with Paul Lansky and musical geometry with Dmitri Tymoczko. To learn more about Theo, visit his website (below) or read his bio in our Resident Directory.

Congratulations, Theo!


Images: via ALT and Theo Popov's websites