February is the birth month of another of America’s greatest composers: today marks the 77th birthday of John Corigliano. A brilliant creative force, Mr. Corigliano has earned acclaim as a master of emotionally complex chamber and orchestral music as well as artful film scores, while his grand opera The Ghosts of Versailles helped pave the way toward the blossoming of new American opera over the last quarter-century.
Los Angeles Opera’s splendid new production of Ghosts, which is bringing this masterpiece to the West Coast for the first time, led the LA Times to suggest that the opera may have “a shot at immortality.”
As if his marvelous catalogue of compositions weren’t enough, Mr. Corigliano has garnered such accolades as the Pulitzer Prize, Grawemeyer Award, five Grammies, and an Oscar.
And he’s obviously a gifted and influential teacher and mentor, as evidenced by the success of such students as Mason Bates and Wlad Marhulets, whose debut opera The Property is about to be given its premiere in Chicago.
Yo-Yo Ma speaks for many of us who care deeply about the arts in our troubled times when he says: “I feel lucky that John and I are living in the same era.”