An American Tragedy

July 20 - August 24, 2014
Tobias Picker, 2005/2014

Libretto by Gene Scheer

Blinded by ambition, a promising young man makes a series of unfortunate choices culminating in a mysterious death in the Adirondacks. Based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel and inspired by a sensational murder trial in Herkimer, New York, Tobias Picker’s opera explores a small-town boy’s pursuit of his idealized dreams.

An American Tragedy
, Picker’s fourth opera, premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 2005 to great acclaim. The Glimmerglass production celebrates the composer’s 60th birthday and marks the premiere of the newly revised version by the composer and librettist.

“Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy,” Tobias Picker wrote, “is a powerful portrayal of the dark side of the American dream.”

Presented in English with projected English text.

This production is made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major support from Faith E. Gay and Francesca Zambello.

An American Tragedy is additionally sponsored by the Glimmerglass Festival National Council, and with important support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.



sunday 20m
friday 25
thursday 31


tuesday 05m
thursday 07
saturday 09m
monday 11m

saturday 16

m = matinee

Free Preview with Tobias Picker

Join composer Tobias Picker in the Preview Pavilion next to the theater one hour prior to each matinee performance of An American Tragedy, as he offers insight into his work, which premieres at Glimmerglass in a newly revised version. Free; no reservation required.



Conductor George Manahan
Director Peter Kazaras
Choreographer Eric Sean Fogel
Sets Alexander Dodge
Costumes Anya Klepikov
Lighting Robert Wierzel
Projected Titles Kelley Rourke
Hair and Makeup Anne Ford-Coates

Gilbert Griffiths Daniel T. Curran*
Clyde Griffiths 
Christian Bowers*
Elvira Griffiths
Patricia Schuman
Roberta Alden
Vanessa Isiguen*
Elizabeth Griffiths Jennifer Root*
Bella Griffiths Meredith Lustig*
Samuel Griffiths Aleksey Bogdanov
Sondra Finchley Cynthia Cook*
Reverend McMillan John Kapusta*
Orville Mason Thomas Richards*

*Young Artist