Powerful Emotions, a Gripping Plot and Two Islamic Heroines [Berkshire on Stage]
Author Khaled Hosseini did not think that his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was opera material – until composer Sheila Silver convinced him otherwise. “I had written him several letters,” the Spencertown resident said. “But it wasn’t until I sent him a very, very heartfelt letter, explaining why this is an opera, that he called me and said ‘okay.’”
That was more than five years ago – after Silver had listened to the best seller on tape and followed it up with a sit down read of the book. “I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for musicalization,” the composer explained. “The emotions are powerful, the plot is gripping and it features two Islamic heroines.”
With the fortuitous award of a Guggenheim fellowship, Silver gained the time necessary to work on the project – the most challenging and complex of her operas to date.