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David Cote

New York, NY         

David Cote is a playwright, librettist and journalist based in New York City. His opera with composer Robert Paterson, Three Way, will have its world premiere at Nashville Opera in January 2017, after which it will travel to BAM in New York. His opera with composer Stefan Weisman, The Scarlet Ibis, premiered to critical and audience acclaim in New York’s Prototype Festival in 2015. The New York Times called The Scarlet Ibis “an outstanding new chamber opera…a moving, intense and dignified creation.” His song cycle with Paterson, In Real Life, just had its world premiere in Texas with the Austin Chamber Ensemble. Two choral works with Paterson, Did You Hear? and Snow Day, were sung by Musica Sacra and conducted by Kent Tritle on Eternal Reflections (American Modern Recordings). He contributed lyrics for composer-pianist James Adler’s 3 Introspections (Albany Records). Plays include Otherland (Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights Conference finalist), Rude News, Porlock and Aristotle’s Comedics. David is theater editor and chief drama critic of Time Out New York and a contributing critic on NY1’s On Stage. His reporting and criticism have appeared in American Theatre, Opera News, The Guardian, The New York Times and elsewhere. He has taught seminars in arts criticism at Brooklyn College and wrote popular companion books to the hit Broadway musicals Wicked, Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening. From 1996 to 1999, David cofounded and edited the downtown ’zines OFF: A Journal of Alternative Theater and EdgeNY. In the 1990s, David was an actor and director, working with avant-garde icon Richard Foreman, Iranian exile auteur Assurbanipal Babilla, and writer-director Richard Maxwell. He directed the world premiere of Babilla’s acclaimed monologue, Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot), as well as the 2013 revival starring Robert Honeywell of Brooklyn’s Brick Theater. David lives in Manhattan with his wife, audiobook narrator Katherine Kellgren. Fellowships: The MacDowell Colony. Member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. B.A. Bard College. His work has been developed and presented by Opera America, Gingold Theatrical Group, HERE, Beth Morrison Projects, American Opera Projects and Fort Worth Opera.

The Scarlet Ibis (2015) trailer

This is a promotional video from Beth Morrison Projects, which is producing the national tour of The Scarlet Ibis, an opera in 13 scenes composed by Stefan Weisman, libretto by David Cote. ABOUT THE OPERA: In North Carolina, in 1912, a boy was born so sickly that no one expected him to live. But he did. Only…he can’t walk normally. He just scoots backwards “like a doodlebug,” so his older brother nicknames him Doodle. Together, the brothers learn about what’s normal, what’s broken, and what mysteries lie in the swamp where they play.

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The Companion (2017) – trailer

This is a trailer for Act I of an opera called THREE WAY, composed by Robert Paterson, libretto by David Cote. ABOUT THE OPERA: Not so far in the future, Maya (soprano) lives with her android lover, Joe (tenor). This interactive programmed Companion looks and sounds human—only better. Still, Maya wants more complexity from Joe. She has technician Dax (baritone) come by to install new experimental software, with surprising results. The video is from a semi-staged concert presentation at Roulette in Brooklyn.

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Did You Hear? (2011) SATB chorus

This is a video of Vermont Youth Orchestra Association performing the world premiere of this choral piece composed by Robert Paterson, with text by David Cote. The creators were asked to write a piece for a teen choir on the subject of gossip. The premiere took place in April 2011.

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