Gordon Getty's new opera, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, receives its New York premiere — as an opera re-imagined for film — in a special screening presented by Festival Napa Valley in partnership with the New York City Opera.
Getty’s fourth opera is based on the popular 1934 book Goodbye, Mr. Chips and other stories by James Hilton. Goodbye, Mr. Chips tells the heart-warming story of a teacher at Brookfield, an all-boys English boarding school to which “Chips” has dedicated most of his adult life, and chronicles Chips’ story of love, loss and learning over his decades-long tenure at Brookfield.
Directed by Brian Staufenbiel, the film features tenor Nathan Granner in the titular role of Mr. Chips, soprano Marnie Breckenridge singing Kathie and Linford, baritone Lester Lynch as Merrivale, and bass-baritone Kevin Short as Ralston and Rivers. The orchestra of stellar Bay Area players is conducted by Nicole Paiement. Members of The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, conducted by Francisco J. Núñez, represent the boarding school’s students.
The premiere was originally planned as a fully-staged, live opera performance, but COVID-19 cancellations gave the team an opportunity to try something new. Rather than put the project on hold, the team re-imagined the work as a film. This new medium allowed for seamless storytelling, with Chips moving fluidly between his later life and flashbacks of his early years at Brookfield.
As a result of pandemic safety protocols, the main cast, orchestra, and chorus were all recorded separately. The cast then filmed on a live set in San Francisco, while the boys were captured as projections in New York City, vividly appearing in the film as Chips remembers them.
New York Premiere co-presented with New York City Opera.
Venue: Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, NYC
Tickets through New York City Opera: $25 each
Marnie Breckenridge is renowned for her beautiful pure soprano, grounded storytelling, deeply expressive score interpretations, excellent musicianship, and layered characterizations.
American composer Gordon Getty has made a lifetime of contributions to the world of classical music. He was awarded the prestigious European Culture Prize in 2019 recognizing his extraordinary legacy.
Nathan Granner is a world-renowned leading tenor, headliner, and solo and collaborative artist, specializing in contemporary opera and late bel canto repertoire.
Acclaimed by opera and concertgoers worldwide, Lester Lynch is regarded not only as a true Verdi baritone, but also as one of today’s foremost interpreters of American spirituals and contemporary opera.
Conductor Nicole Paiement is widely acclaimed for her interpretations of contemporary operas. As Founder and Artistic Director of Opera Parallèle (OP) in San Francisco, Ms. Paiement has conducted many new productions, commissions, and world premieres.
Versatile bass-baritone Kevin Short is thrilling audiences around the globe in repertoire ranging from Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail to Escamillo in Carmen.
Director Brian Staufenbiel is the creative director for Opera Parallèle, where he has directed and spearheaded the conceptual designs of the company’s productions since it was founded in 2010.
Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC) is a multicultural youth chorus, internationally renowned for its superb virtuosity, brilliant showmanship, and innovative model of diversity. Founded by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, YPC’s spectacular artistry has been showcased in award-winning performances around the world.