Prince of Players Comes to Opperman Music Hall
This Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m., the lights in Opperman Music Hall will dim, the orchestra will begin to play, and four days of performances of Carlisle Floyd's latest opera, Prince of Players, will get underway. This will be only the third time that this opera has been staged anywhere in the world, and it will be the very first time that the opera will be performed by a collegiate opera program.
The performances of Prince of Players at FSU represents another milestone in the relationship between the FSU College of Music and Carlisle Floyd, who is considered to be one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the United States today and was a winner of the National Medal of Arts in 2004. Floyd was a faculty member in the College of Music from 1947 until 1976, when he headed to Houston to help establish the Houston Opera Studio with David Gockley, the University of Houston, and the Houston Grand Opera. Since that time, the College has continued to celebrate the life and work of Carlisle Floyd, mounting a fiftieth anniversary performance of Floyd's first operatic success, Susannah, in 2005 and hosting a gala concert, "A Celebration of Carlisle Floyd," in September 2011. Carlisle Floyd's contribution to generations of FSU students is both ongoing and incalculable, and in preparation for the premiere of Prince of Players at FSU, the composer has been on campus several times in the past few weeks, visiting with students about his work.
Prince of Players, which had its world premiere in Houston in March 2016, is based on the stage play Compleat Female Beauty by Jeffrey Hatcher and tells the story of Restoration-era actor Edward Kynaston, heralded as the greatest portrayer of female characters in a time when only men were permitted on stage. In an effort to please his favored mistress, actress Nell Gwynn, King Charles II decrees that only women will play female characters on the stage. Kynaston, who has only played female roles, must rediscover his talent if hopes to continue his life on stage.
Click here to read an additional story about Carlisle Floyd's impact on students.