The Great Gatsby (opera)

The Great Gatsby is an opera in two acts written by American composer John Harbison. The libretto, also by Harbison, was adapted from the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Additional popular song lyrics were by Murray Horwitz. The opera was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera in honor of music director James Levine's 25th anniversary with the company.

Performance history

The Great Gatsby had its premiere performance on December 20, 1999. Conducted by Levine, the cast included Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. The stage production was by Mark Lamos. The opera has been performed at the Met twelve times in two seasons. In 2000 it was produced at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The opera has received mixed reviews, some describing it as "undramatic and dull."[1] It was also performed in the summer of 2012 at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

The first European performance was on 6 December 2015 at the Semperoper in Dresden conducted by Wayne Marshall.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, December 20, 1999
(Conductor: James Levine)
European First Performance, December 06, 2015
(Conductor: Wayne Marshall)
Jay Gatsby, a wealthy but mysterious young man tenor Jerry Hadley Peter Lodahl
Daisy Buchanan, a young socialite soprano Dawn Upshaw Maria Bengtsson
Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband, formerly an athlete tenor Mark W. Baker Raymond Very
Nick Carraway, Daisy's cousin, a stockbroker baritone Dwayne Croft John Chest
Jordan Baker, Daisy's friend, a golfer mezzo-soprano Susan Graham Christina Bock
George Wilson, garage mechanic bass Richard Paul Fink Lester Lynch
Myrtle Wilson, George's wife mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Angel Blue
Radio/Band Singer tenor Matthew Polenzani Aaron Pegram
Tango Singer mezzo-soprano Jennifer Dudley Jelena Kordić
Meyer Wolfshiem, a businessman bass-baritone William Powers Matthias Henneberg
Henry Gatz, Jay's father baritone Frederick Burchinal Tilmann Rönnebeck
Minister bass LeRoy Lehr


  1. Croan, Robert. "Harbison's Great Gatsby Fails to Engage; Tristan soars". Retrieved 4 July 2012.

External links

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