The Flood, Opera Columbus' and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's co-commissioned chamber opera, debuts this week. The work tells the story of the Ohio Flood of 1913 and its effects through the years. This represents the first collaboration between the two well-loved Columbus arts organizations. And, it gives you the chance to see the World Premiere of an opera set right in Columbus.
The Great Flood destroyed Franklinton in 1913, traumatizing residents at the time and through the generations. Waters rose up to 17 feet, inundating the working class neighborhood, killing 96 people and destroying more than 500 buildings. The opera explores that legacy and the connection that comes through shared tragedy. Composer Korine Fujiwara demonstrates the impact of this historic event with four stories from four different time periods being told at once on stage. So, the setting utilizes four rooms - one each representing 1913, 1938, 1970 and 2014 - allowing the cast and the story to weave between them.
The Flood represents the first commissioned opera by Opera Columbus in almost 20 years. OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program and the OPERA America Opera Fund provided funding. Also, the Columbus Foundation’s Arts Innovation Fund awarded a $150,000 Arts Prize to the project.
Also, consider attending a pre-show talk-back, to get some additional historical context. Plus, these talks are free to any ticket holder. On February 8 from 6:30-7 p.m.at the Southern Theatre, Columbus Landmarks presents speakers Doreen Uhas Sauer, historian and contributor to WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods Series, and Jim Sweeny, urban planner and longtime Franklinton resident. On February 9 from 6:30-7 p.m. at the Southern Theatre, Ohio History Connection presents speaker Trudy Bell, a Cleveland-based writer and expert on the Great Flood of 1913. Then, on February 10 from 1:15-1:45 p.m. at the Seneca Room of The Westin, local resident Peter Coccia, an expert in all things Franklinton, presents the talk-back.
So, as winter continues its hold on the city, get out and explore. Because these are the first performances of the opera, you can blaze the trail. Grab a bite to eat before or after the performance at High Street Grill or the Great Southern Whiskey Bar, right in the Great Southern hotel. Or, check out Dempsey's Food & Spirits, Milestone 229, Sidebar or other downtown favorites.