Moses and Jacobs: A Drama Fit for an Opera (Coming Soon to a Stage Near You)

Yes, the world of urban planning will soon get a star turn of epic proportions—as the focus of an opera currently in development and scheduled to debut in New York City in 2017.
September 22, 2015, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The world of urban planning is filled with epic conflicts and larger-than-life characters," writes J.B. Wogan. "The villain developer who bulldozes poor neighborhoods and tosses destitute residents out into the street. The band of misfit neighbors who join together to rise up and fight to save their community."

So maybe it's surprising that only now is urban planning set to provide the dramatic backdrop for an opera in development from director Joshua Frankel and composer Judd Greenstein. As reported by Wogan, Frankel and Greenstein want to "turn the conflict between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, the two biggest titans of 20th-century urban planning, into an opera."

According to Wogan, the "as-yet-untitled opera is scheduled to debut in Williamstown, Mass., next year, with a New York premiere in 2017. To drum up public interest and financial support, Frankel and Greenstein held short scene presentations in May and are documenting their progress through Twitter and Tumblr."

Chris Pomorski first broke the news of the opera's development in May. The development would follow on the heels of a play that ran with success in New York about Amanda Burden, former planning commissioner for New York, and a graphic novel that told the story of Robert Moses, called Robert Moses: Master Builder of New York City.

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Published on Monday, September 21, 2015 in Governing
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