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What to Wear

Directed by Richard Foreman
Composed by Michael Gordon

World premiere

Production of the Center for New Performance at CalArts, in conjunction with the New Century Players

What to Wear is a raucous, bitingly funny post-rock opera from avant-garde theater icon Richard Foreman and celebrated composer Michael Gordon.  In Foreman’s signature style, What to Wear is a surreal extravaganza of operatic tableaux come to disturbing, hallucinatory life. A pageant of seductiveness gone wrong — as everyone on stage turns less and less beautiful, something more ecstatic that beauty slowly reveals its awesome 21st-century face.

Foreman’s brilliantly staged action is set to a powerful score by Gordon, a cofounder of the Bang on a Can Festival, who has been widely lauded for bringing the unruly vitality of popular forms to contemporary art music. Foreman, one of the seminal figures of the American avant-garde, first worked with CNP in 2000, creating the enormously successful Bad Behavior in association with Sophie Haviland.

Developed at CalArts with generous support from the Audrey Skirball Kenis/REDCAT Music-Theater Program, funded by The Skirball Foundation. Commissioned by the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, with funds provided by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and by Meet The Composer Commissioning Music/USA. Produced with the support of The Shubert Foundation.

Production Team

Richard Foreman, Direction, Design
Michael Gordon, Composer
Richard Foreman, Libretto
David Rosenboom, Musical Director
Kate Manheim, Mural Design
John Eckert, Lighting Co-Design
E.B. Brooks, Costume Co-Design
Colbert S. Davis IV, Sound Design
Chi-wang Yang, Company Director
Vicki Ray, Assistant Music Director
Marja Mutru, Assistant Music Director
Laura Mason, Stage Manager
Annette Stock, Production Manager
Adela Kuehn, Co-Technical Director
Jeff Arbuckle, Co-Technical Director
Ian Garrett, Assistant Producer (CNP)
Carol Bixler, Producer (CNP)
Sarah Krainin, Properties
Janne Larsen, Assistant Scenic Designer
Carolina Angulo, Scenic Artist
Tiffany Welt, Assistant Costume Designer
Johnny Bradley, Assistant Lighting Designer
John Baffa, Audio Consultant
Jeremiah Theis, Video Engineer
Linda Baumgardner, Assistant Stage Manager
Sarah Berkowitz, Assistant Stage Manager
Sarah Chalfy, Soprano
Harmony Jiroudek, Alto
Marja Kay, Soprano
Marc Lowenstein, Tenor
Areni Agbabian, Chorus
Stephanie Aston, Chorus
Sylvia Desrochers, Chorus
Mayra Gallo, Chorus
Julia Hwang, Chorus
Tany Ling, Chorus
Antonio Anagaran, Movement Ensemble
Jason Ball, Movement Ensemble
Sarah Dahlen, Movement Ensemble
Bridget Fenner, Movement Ensemble
Loren Fenton, Movement Ensemble
Ayana Hampton, Movement Ensemble
Eddie Lopez, Movement Ensemble
David Mack, Movement Ensemble
Nicole Marquis, Movement Ensemble
Liam Springthorpe, Movement Ensemble
Reina Tokura, Movement Ensemble
Richard Foreman, Voiceover
Juliana Francis, Voiceover
David Rosenboom, Conductor
Vicki Ray, Keyboard 1
Danny Holt, Keyboard 2
Miroslav Tadic, Electric Guitar
Mark Menzies, Violin 1
Eric Clark, Violin 2
Gene Coye, Drums/Percussion
Ivan Johnson, Contrabass