Author William Kennedy, composer Evan Mack, and librettist Joshua McGuire discuss the opera "Roscoe"

October 5 discussion explores the adaptation of Kennedy's novel "Roscoe" to an opera

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William Kennedy, author of the novel "Roscoe" (2002)

ALBANY, NY (09/23/2016)(readMedia)-- William Kennedy, Albany native and highly decorated author, will discuss the new opera adaptation of his 2002 novel, Roscoe, about an aging player in Albany's Democratic Party machine. Joining Kennedy will be the opera's composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire. Joseph Dalton of the Times Union will moderate the discussion. The conversation will be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Small Courtroom of the Federal Building, SUNY System Administration, 353 Broadway, Albany. Free Parking is available at the Hudson-Green Parking Garage: Enter on Hudson Avenue, across from SUNY System Administration.

In anticipation of the Albany Symphony Orchestra's October 15th performance of Roscoe: A Grand American Opera, William Kennedy, author of the novel Roscoe, and the opera's composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire, will discuss the process of adapting the novel into a new American opera. The discussion will be moderated by Joseph Dalton, arts critic for the Albany Times Union. The event is sponsored by The State University of New York, Albany Cultural Heritage and Tourism Partnership, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the New York State Writers Institute.

When the novel Roscoe was released in 2002 Thomas Mallon in a review in The Atlantic praised it for being "the best novel of city-hall politics to appear in ages." The opera Roscoe had its debut this past summer at the Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York. In an August 9, 2016 posting to the National Opera Association blog, Review Editor Dr. Anthony P. Radford praised the debut for meeting the first criterion of "good American Opera," namely that it "has to have a good story-and that story should be uniquely American." Dr. Radford went on to call the work "a major and mature triumph for Mack and McGuire," with the potential to stand as "a lasting and popular American opera."

Roscoe is the second such adaptation for McGuire and Mack, who have also teamed up to compose an opera adaptation of the 1956 Ignazio Silone novel The Secret of Luca. Joshua McGuire is currently Senior Lecturer in Musicianship at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and has written for the Washington National Opera. Evan Mack holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and is Assistant Professor of music at Skidmore College. He is the composer of five full musicals, including his Choral Suite, Langston Hughes' Dream of Freedom-a Selection Winner of the National Association of Composers, San Francisco and the UCM New Music Festival.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra's performance of Roscoe: An American Grand Opera is scheduled for Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m., Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany. It will feature opera superstar soprano Deborah Voigt, Jeffrey Williams, and Albany Pro Musica. For tickets contact the Albany Symphony Box Office at 518-894-3300.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at