Sunday, November 14 | 4:00PM
Gordon Getty's new opera, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, receives its world premiere — as an opera re-imagined for film — in a special screening presented by Festival Napa Valley in partnership with the California Film Institute and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Getty’s fourth opera is based on the popular 1934 book Goodbye, Mr. Chips and other stories by James Hilton. Goodbye, Mr. Chips tells the heart-warming story of a teacher at Brookfield, an all-boys English boarding school to which “Chips” has dedicated most of his adult life, and chronicles Chips’ story of love, loss and learning over his decades-long tenure at Brookfield.
Directed by Brian Staufenbiel, the film features tenor Nathan Granner in the titular role of Mr. Chips, soprano Marnie Breckenridge singing Kathie and Linford, baritone Lester Lynch as Merrivale, and bass-baritone Kevin Short as Ralston and Rivers. The orchestra of stellar Bay Area players is conducted by Nicole Paiement. Members of The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, conducted by Francisco J. Núñez, represent the boarding school’s students.
The premiere was originally planned as a fully-staged, live opera performance, but COVID-19 cancellations gave the team an opportunity to try something new. Rather than put the project on hold, the team re-imagined the work as a film. This new medium allowed for seamless storytelling, with Chips moving fluidly between his later life and flashbacks of his early years at Brookfield.
As a result of pandemic safety protocols, the main cast, orchestra, and chorus were all recorded separately. The cast then filmed on a live set in San Francisco, while the boys were captured as projections in New York City, vividly appearing in the film as Chips remembers them.
Q & A session with the film’s creators at the Smith Rafael Film Center
in downtown San Rafael will follow the 4pm screening only.
$15 tickets available October 7 through the Smith Rafael Film Center box office.
For more information about the evening's program, please contact the Festival Napa Valley box office.
Presented in association with the California Film Institute/Mill Valley Film Festival
Smith Rafael Film Center
Located in downtown San Rafael, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is owned and operated by the California Film Institute, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the annual Mill Valley Film Festival and ongoing CFI Education programs. Ample public parking is available in numerous city-owned garages nearby.