The Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University will present the world premiere performance in concert version of ODIN, the opera, words & music by Donald Knaack, at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, on Friday, April 14, 2006 (8pm), Saturday, April 15, 2006 (3pm and 8pm) and Sunday, April 16, 2006 (3pm). General Admission is $20. Students $10.
The opera is a truly unique, out-of-the-box work that defies tradition without ignoring its roots and structure. The production will be directed by John Simpkins and the Music Director will be Jonathan Haas conducting the New York University Percussion Ensemble. Both Simpkins and Haas are New York University faculty. The overall production will be supervised by the composer and librettist, Donald Knaack.
Odin, the opera, is a full length spoken word opera based upon the Nordic Myth Odin. Odin was the Viking God of War, the most feared and ruthless warrior the world had ever known. Odin was also the Viking God of Knowledge who, according to Nordic lore, invented the alphabet and poetry.
Odin, the opera, explores the dicotomy of Odin's internal struggles being the God of War and the God of Knowledge simultantously. As the God of Knowledge, he had given birth to knowledge and the concept of civility in an age of brutality and incivility. Knowing the pen is mightier than the sword, the world's most brutal and feared warrior also knew in his heart the spread of knowledge and civility into his world will ultimately defeat him.
"The first step was to write the story, which I did with Linnet Taylor with assistance from Anna Dibble. The work is based upon the Nordic Mythology, with very few variances from the legends. We wanted to maintain the integrity of the lore while bringing out the various humanistic points that still exist and apply in today's society. Thus illustrating the fact that history will and has repeated itself many times, yet we don't seem to learn from the mistakes of others." The two plus hour work is in two Acts. The First Act contains 12 scenes while the Second Act contains 13 scenes.