What is "Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On" about?
Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On is a new music opera about Gertrude Stein's struggle to establish herself as a writer, to define what her writing was going to accomplish, deal with her critics especially her brother Leo, and to accept the overwhelming recognition once she became known to the American public.

When did the opera premier?
Encompass New Opera Theatre premiered this opera in New York City at Symphony Space, Thalia Theatre, June 15-18, 2005. The program entitled A Gertrude Stein Musical Trilogy included two short vocal compositions by Virgil Thomson (Capital Capitals) and Ned Rorem (Three Sisters Who Were Not Sisters) both based on texts by Gertrude Stein.

The first workshop in New York City took place on March 10, 2002, at the Manhattan School of Music. For more details about this workshop, see Opera Notes.

Will there be other performances of the Stein opera?
Yes, but no dates are set yet. Join the Stein opera news group to stay informed.

Has anything been written about the development of the Stein opera?
Yes, The Steiny Road to Operadom: The Making of American Operas by Karren Alenier came out from Unlimited Publishing in limited advance release in October 1, 2007. Visit the publisher's website to order your copy now. More information about how this book came about at the author's publishing blog.

What is the history of the music?
William Banfield began writing the music in June 2000. Stage-ready piano and vocal scores for all three acts were delivered to the co-commissioners for review in December 2001and January 2002. The orchestral score was completed October 2004.

How many singers are in the cast?
There are ten singers and one actor. Voice parts include two sopranos, two mezzos, three tenors, two baritones, and one bass-baritone.

How many instruments are in the orchestra?
In the orchestral jazz ensemble, there are eight musicians who play a variety of instruments including the following: piano, base, cello, two violins, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, and percussion (drum set, triangle, bell tree).

What does the title "Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On" mean?
Think of the title as a jazz invocation. Stein's work is about word play and syncopation. I work with this rhythmic concept in the opera. Early ON -- she was ahead of her time and still is.

What happened at the Gertrude Stein Salon that preceded the world premiere?
Karren Alenier organized a panel discussion that included Sarah Bay-Cheng, author of Mama Dada: Gertrude Stein's Avant-Garde Theater; Barbara Will, author of Gertrude Stein, Modernism and the Problem of "Genius"; and Brenda Wineapple, author of Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein. Director/Dramaturg Nancy Rhodes moderated the program. Eve Gigliotti as Gertrude Stein and Rosalie Sullivan as Alice B. Toklas accompanied by Christopher Fecteau on piano provided examples of the music and l yrics. The program with sponsorship of the Cuny Graduate Center took place June 10, 2005, at City University New York, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center and was videoed by CUNY.

How can I obtain the libretto and memorabilia related to Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On?
To purchase a copy of the libretto Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On, visit wordworksdc.com. Contact poet@steinopera.com for more information.

How can I find out more about new operas being written today?
Visit the website of Opera America where Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On is listed and also Karren Alenier's column The Steiny Road To Operadom and arts blog The Dressing on scene4.com and her book The Steiny Road to Operadom: The Making of American Operas.

How can I be kept informed about this opera?
Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gertrudesteinopera for current news. You may sign up as a member of this news group.

How can I participate in the continuing development of this opera?
The Word Works continues to support the development costs of the opera, including publicity, travel and communication expenses, transcription of the music scores. Donations to The Word Works are tax-deductible. Ask about our incentive gifts.

Make checks to:

The Word Works Stein Opera Fund
PO Box 42164
Washington, DC 20015

Indicate whether you would like to be listed as a contributor.

How can I participate in a new production of this opera?
Encompass New Opera Theatre is seeking donations and grants to finance new productions of its Gertrude Stein Invents A Jump Early On. Box office receipts, even if every performance is sold-out, do not cover production costs that include: singer and musician fees, set materials, printed programs, postal mailings, and overhead for the theater space and administrative support. Donations to Encompass New Opera Theatre are tax-deductible.

Make checks to:

The Encompass Stein Opera Fund
c/o Nancy Rhodes
484 West 43rd Street #20H
New York, NY 10036

Indicate whether you would like to be listed as a contributor.