Thaddeus Phillips' Red-Eye to Havre de Grace. Photo by Johanna Austin.
Thaddeus Phillips teams up with the Minneapolis-based musical duo Wilhelm Bros. & Co. to create this action-opera about Edgar Allan Poe's mysterious last days. Set in September of 1849, Red-Eye to Havre de Grace follows Poe on his last lecture tour from Virginia to New York, focusing on a stop in Maryland when a train conductor saw Poe wearing a strangers clothes headed south, where he would die just days later.
Phillips first presented this work fully staged at the 2012 FringeArts Festival, thanks to Center support, with an expanded piano-based score and enhanced visual effects beyond prior, smaller productions. Artistic collaborators and Minneapolis-based composers Jeremy and David Wilhelm reworked songs they had created for earlier versions of the piece and contributed new songs to the score, using lyrics taken primarily from Poe's letters to his mother-in-law.
Red-Eye to Havre de Grace has received a great deal of positive critical attention from media outlets such as the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, TheaterMania, and elsewhere.