Opera America Magazine, Summer 2014
Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera will initiate a series of concert productions and recordings of the works of Carlisle Floyd beginning in the 2014-2015 season. The project launches with Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, sponsored by local donors John Shannon and Jan Serr. Florentine’s general director, William Florescu, will oversee the project, with Floyd as artistic advisor. Joseph Mechavich will conduct the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Florentine Opera Chorus, with Soundmirror of Boston recording the project for the Bridge Records label.
According to Florescu, the initial development of the project began as a result of Florentine Opera’s 2012 production of Floyd’s Susannah, for which the composer was present. With the increasing success of the company’s recording program (a 2011 Grammy for Elmer Gantry by composer Robert Aldridge and librettist Herschel Garfein, and a 2013 Grammy for Rio de Sangre by composer Don Davis and Librettist Kate Gale), a long-range program to capture those works by Floyd that had not previously been recorded reflected the company’s commitment to American opera. Floyd’s Willie Stark and Bilby’s Doll are currently slated for future recordings.