Friday, June 20, 2008 | 7:30pm
Sunday, June 22, 2008 | 3:00pm
Eric Sawyer Our American Cousin (2007)

BMOP, conducted by Artistic Director Gil Rose, performs for the world premiere of Eric Swayer's Our American Cousin, with stage direction by Carole Charnow. This engaging and approachable opera will be sung by some of New England's most exciting young vocalists.

Tickets are available for purchase online through the American Repertory Theater website or by calling the A.R.T. Box Office at 617.547.8300 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

News and Press

[Concert Review] "Cousin" opera recounts Lincoln assassination

NORTHAMPTON - In opera, anything can happen as long as you sing about it.

In Eric Sawyer and John Shoptaw’s new opera Our American Cousin, the events immediately surrounding President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination were examined operatically through the eyes of the actors in the play the president came to Ford’s Theater to attend that fateful evening.

The opera premiered Friday evening at the Academy of Music Theater.

The Republican Full review
[Concert Review] Big themes, big performances boost "Our American Cousin"

NORTHAMPTON - It is rare to encounter an opera premiere outside the big cities or big festivals but Amherst composer Eric Sawyer and Berkeley poet John Shoptaw have done the almost-impossible. They raised $100,000 (from foundations and generous individuals), enlisted the talent (some of it from Opera Boston), and produced their new opera, Our American Cousin, on Friday at the Academy of Music in this town. This was its first fully staged performance. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project was in the pit, led by Gil Rose.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] Recalling that fateful night at Ford's Theatre

It sounds like the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, history category: What was playing at Ford’s Theatre the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? The answer, for those not up on their Civil War-era minutiae, is Our American Cousin, a rather slight comedy of manners by British writer Tom Taylor.

The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] "American Cousin" set for premiere

Eighteen years since he and librettist John Shoptaw “tossed around” the possibility of writing an opera about the night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, composer Eric Sawyer is about to see the full realization of that idea.

The opera Sawyer and Shoptaw wrote, entitled Our American Cousin after the Tom Taylor Broadway comedy Lincoln and his wife were attending at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., that fateful night, receives its world premiere fully-staged performances on Friday and Saturday at the Academy of Music in Northampton

The Republican Full review
[News Coverage] Singing the Union in peril: Opera goes behind the scenes at Ford's Theater

Backstage at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. on the night of April 14, 1865, Ned Emerson is rehearsing his sneeze.

Fellow actor Harry Hawk receives bad news. The man he paid to perform his service in the Civil War, ended just five days earlier, has died in combat.

Actor John Wilkes Booth, a familiar face, though not in the cast that evening, approaches Jack Mathews with a sealed letter and a request to deliver it to John Coyle, editor of the National Intelligencer, the following day.

Amherst Bulletin Full review
[News Coverage] A night at Ford's Theater: Opera revives Lincoln's assassination

When Laura Keene took the stage of Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. to greet the audience on April 14, 1865, she had every good reason to anticipate a fine evening ahead.

With her theater company, she was poised to present a sure crowd-pleaser, Broadway’s first smash hit. The assemblage included distinguished guests President Lincoln and the First Lady. And five days earlier, the surrender of Confederate General Lee to U.S. Grant at Appomattox had ended the long nightmare of the Civil War that had split the nation in two.

Amherst Bulletin Full review