During any discussion of Kennedy's final day, Dallas' infamous geography eclipses our sister city's. A new commission by the Fort Worth Opera will address those lesser-seen moments, focused on bonds and experiences the president held dear during the 15 hours prior the assassination. It will be based mostly in Fort Worth.
That's a daunting task, turning one of history's most beloved icons into a singing, moving stage character. Especially considering it will premiere here, in North Texas, where the mess went down. But the job's being tackled by two very discussed names in the contemporary New York opera scene: composer David T. Little (Dog Days, Soldiers Song) and librettist Royce Vavrek (Dog Days, Songs from the Uproar).
The pair is preparing for the task through archival research, designed to give an anchored account of "the human qualities that made him a beloved father, a prodigal son and a wayward husband," according to Little. The opera will examine both the very private, and very public, sides of the Kennedys as John and Jackie moved through that final day in North Texas.
The commission honors the Fort Worth Opera's 70th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of its annual FW Opera Festival. This new piece -- currently titled Jack and Jackie, a historical phantasmagoria -- is set to release in Spring, 2016. An "embryonic" preview -- billed as "libretto reading and storytelling," occurred last Thursday evening at the Hotel Texas, where the couple spent their final night.
FWO has vowed to share progress of its development, because they're cool and tech savvy like that, so here's the first video released. Enjoy.