Arizona Opera is commissioning its first world premiere, Craig Bohmler's Riders of the Purple Sage, running in Tucson and Phoenix in February and March of 2017. The libretto by Steven Mark Kohn is based on the Western novel by Zane Grey, which tells the story of Jane Withersteen, a devout Mormon who grows increasingly at odds with the expectations of her church, and Lassiter, a rugged cowboy set on revenge.
"Riders of the Purple Sage is dramatic, with vivid characters who have clear agendas and interact in situations with high stakes. There is plenty of conflict and opportunity for the drama to soar. While the characters live large in a massive landscape, their story is an intimate one. In reading it, I felt it was "operatic" and only needed a few minor tweaks."