Based on the true O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson saga. The trial scene is taken from actual transcripts.
Nicole and the Trial of the Century is dedicated to the memory of Nicole Brown Simpson, and written as a statement against the spousal abuse of women, from the mountain of trial transcripts, as well as books and articles written about Nicole and O.J. Simpson, Raoul Cansino and I have written a libretto in two acts: the first tragic, the second comic. The individual songs are introduced by a speaker/reciter, accompanied by timpani, much in the manner of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex.
The work can be done very economically with as few as four or five singers who wear masks for the various characters in the Opera. The orchestra of 15 players can be reduced to piano and four other instruments. Since the similarities to Shakespeare's Othello are obvious, including quotes from the celebrated play, I have made it possible to turn the dialogue into the Othello story, and by changing the lead characters names to Tello and Dimona.
I am looking for a first performance, (the original first performance to have been done in 2004 with a New York opera company unfortunately failed to materialize) and am offering a $1000 finder's fee for a staged production with at least a D level opera company, which fee will be paid at the first performance.
— ANTHONY NEWMAN
Instrumentation: 15 instruments, including piano. Can also be done with as few as four or five singers (who also serve as chorus), in a chamber version, or in a grander manner.
Original recording on Albany Records, now with a new overture and several changes. The style is singspiel or spoken recitative. An alternate libretto is aso available, adapted from Shakespeare's Othello, in which case the title of the work is 'Othello Today'. The first act is 'Opera Seria' and the second act is (the trial) is 'Opera Buffa'.
"Amid the proceedings are a few quite lovely pieces with no satirical intent whatsoever. There are stand out numbers: 'Take The Hand Off,' wherein OJ (Tello) watches old videotapes of his football career, 'Nicole's Rage,' a sweet quartet setting of the 'Our Father,' and 'I Am The Master,' OJ's song of gloating after beating the rap.
The overtones of mythic tragedy are both enhanced and parodied by a format that echoes Stravinsky's 'Oedipus.' The result is a blend of the comic and serious on a media event that did indeed combine farce with tragedy."
"Skillful, postmodern parody such as this has its place, and it's better than those clunky 'Gatsby' and 'Streetcar' things that pass as contemporary opera."
"His tenor aria is the opera's high point, a vocal tour-de-force requiring range and agility…"