Friday, October 14, 2005

Tonya and Nancy: The Opera?

Stand back, Jerry Springer! You aren't the only notorious American to have an opera named after you. The Associated Press reported this little item on Friday:
BOSTON — The Nancy Kerrigan -Tonya Harding soap opera is now a musical opera. The figure skating saga that captivated the country 11 years ago — with the ubiquitous video of Kerrigan crying "Why me?" after being attacked and hit in the knee — is the basis for Nancy and Tonya: The Opera, to be performed at Tufts University next spring.

..."This is the classic envy story and it was just so strange and got stranger by the day," said Elizabeth Searle, who wrote the opera's libretto. "Tonya and Nancy was the first completely insane scandal that took over the country," Searle said.

The 43-year-old Searle said she did not consult the two skaters about the one-act opera, which was pieced together using actual quotes uttered by the women and others involved in the scandal. Searle plucked from newspaper reports, FBI transcripts and her previous novella about the skating rivals, "Celebrities in Disgrace," which is being made into a short film. Tufts graduate student Abigail Al Dorry is writing the music.

The opera opens with Kerrigan and Harding holding dueling news conferences at the 1994 Olympics, just weeks after the attack on Kerrigan.

"There are elements of parody in it, but I really feel for this story," Searle said. "Girls in America are either raised to be Tonyas or Nancys. I think any girl can relate to these two women and what they went through."