Comic Opera ‘A Wedding’ Arrives at UH For Texas Premiere

Weddings are meaningful, moving events in which couples pledge a lifetime of love and loyalty. Wedding receptions, however, can be an entirely different type of event.

Filmmaker Robert Altman satirized the ultimate wedding reception gone wrong in his 1978 comedy "A Wedding." In 2004, the director revisited this concept to help create a unique, frank and funny opera adaptation of this movie. Thanks to the University of Houston's Edythe Bates Old Moores Opera Center, Texas opera buffs have a chance to see the fruits of the late Altman's labors.

"A Wedding" makes its Texas debut at 7:30 p.m., April 4 at UH's Moores Opera House, and offers audiences a musical, comical look at American manners...or the lack of same ...during a wedding reception. With music composed by William Bolcom and a libretto by Altman and Arnold Weinstein, the production has a decidedly contemporary feel but pays homage to an opera classic.

"The writers set out to create a comedy of manners that was a 21st century answer to the style of ‘The Marriage of Figaro,'" said Buck Ross, director of the Moores Opera Center and the opera's producer and director. "The score is delivered in an eclectic style that includes Gershwin-esque songs, doo wop, country-western, rock and roll and American contemporary opera all mixed into one."

To fully capture the feel of an elegant social event, the costumes for "A Wedding" were designed by Houston fashionista and boutique owner Toni Whitaker. While the wardrobe and setting are upscale, the tone of the opera is pure comedy.

"The plot is about a wedding reception from hell," Ross said. "Anyone who has ever been to a wedding reception gone awry knows that the only possible response is laughter."


WHAT: "A Wedding"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., April 4, 5, 7
2 p.m. April 6
WHERE: Moores Opera House
University of Houston - Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204
WHO: University of Houston/Moores School of Music