Title: A Streetcar Named Desire
Composer: André Previn
Libretto: Philip Littell
First performed: September 19, 1998 at San Francisco Opera
Virginia Opera Performance History: This marks the Virginia Opera’s premiere performance of A Streetcar Named Desire as part of its “First of First” initiative to expand VAO’s repertoire and bring new operas to our Commonwealth audiences. It is based on the popular play of the same name by Tennessee Williams.
Conductor: Ari Pelto
Stage Director: Sam Helfrich
Orchestra: Virginia Symphony
Blanche DuBois has come to New Orleans to visit her sister Stella and Stella's husband Stanley. Stanley immediately dislikes Blanche and accuses her of squandering money. Blanche is intrigued by Stanley’s friend Mitch, and in a fury, Stanley strikes out at Stella. Blanche entreats Stella to leave Stanley, as he listens from the next room.
A few weeks later, Blanche is still staying with Stella and Stanley and Stella is pregnant. Mitch and Blanche have been dating, but when Mitch says he wants more of a commitment, Blanche ignores him. For Blanche’s birthday, she shares a quiet dinner with Stella and Stanley until Stanley gives Blanche a one-way ticket back home, which upsets Blanche. Stella goes into labor and Stanley takes her to the hospital. Mitch shows up drunk and Blanche begs him to marry her, but is rejected. Stanley returns home to find Blanche delusional.
Days later, Stella is back from the hospital with their baby and Blanche is getting ready for an imaginary date. Stella calls the asylum and doctors arrive to take Blanche away.
A Streetcar Named Desirehas three acts and is sung in English with English supertitles.