The Houston Grand Opera received a A $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will help commission five new musical works, including a chamber opera based on the Columbia space shuttle tragedy: $750,000 grant will help Houston Grand Opera produce 5 new works – Rant & Rave
“O Columbia,” based on the space shuttle calamity, will premiere in autumn 2015. Created by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Royce Vavrek, the chamber opera will look at the tragedy from multiple perspectives, including those of the control room at Johnson Space Center; a family waiting at Cape Canaveral in Florida; the Columbia crew; and Houston-area residents who witnessed the shuttle’s end.
Former Space Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale was initially “appalled” at the idea but was won over after he visited the HGO group a couple of times and heard what they were creating: O Columbia -Wayne Hale’s Blog
It was not merely good, it was great.
It put space exploration in a historical context. It used the point of view of a young person aspiring to be an astronaut. There was nothing neither maudlin nor titillating. At one point there were tears among the audience. It was powerful.
After the reading we were asked for comments; the astronauts spoke first, then we all had the chance; praise for the approach, minor corrections to the script, overall an emotional release.
The music is in composition, much later the sets and costumes will be constructed, rehearsals will begin. The curtain should go up in October 2015. Just like all space projects, the schedule will take some time.
I think it will be great.
You should mark your calendar and go.