Team Via announced that acclaimed soprano Emily Pulley has accepted the role of peregrina in the world premiere of Via Lactea: An Opera in Two Acts, which will debut in Bend, Oregon’s historic Tower Theatre June 10-12.
Pulley is the first singer cast in a leading role in this new work, set against the backdrop of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Pulley’s radiant voice and electrifying acting have won her both national and international acclaim on the operatic stages. A frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, Pulley’s roles in the legendary house included Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias and Erste Dame in a new production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor.
She has performed with the Portland, Oregon and Seattle Opera companies.
A champion of contemporary repertoire, Pulley created the role of Lysia in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s new opera, Lysistrata, in her Houston Grand Opera début, which she then reprised for New York City Opera.
“Vía Láctea, an original opera written by Ellen Waterston and composed by Rebecca Oswald, is an exciting new work that addresses a variety of timely yet timeless themes, placed against the backdrop of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The opera, sung in English, will be a fully staged production by OperaBend. It is based on award-winning author and poet Ellen Waterston’s verse novel, Vía Láctea: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino.
The title of the opera stems from the folkloric belief that the Milky Way, always overhead when walking the Camino, was created by dust kicked up by pilgrims’ feet over centuries of pilgrimages. Inspiring the collection’s title poem, this legend created a mystical canopy for the verse novel and, now, for the opera. Vía Láctea promises a lively, bold and alternately serious and humorous experience.
The creative team charged with bringing “Vía Láctea” to the stage includes Jason Stein and Nancy Engebretson, principals of OperaBend, librettist Waterston, composer Oswald, conductor Michael Gesme and musicians from the Central Oregon Symphony, and set designer Ron Schultz, who created the original drawings for Atelier 6000’s art book version of Vía Láctea.