Remembering the Artist: American Composer, Educator Robert Ward
Of the many famous American novels and plays that have been converted into operas The Crucible based on the Tony Award-winning play of the same name by Arthur Miller tops that list. The opera composer was Robert Ward who passed away in April of last year at the age of 95. The Crucible premiered in 1961 and the following year it won both the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Music Critics Circle Citation. The allegory weaves a tale of lust, revenge, and power against a backdrop of the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century, but the story remains extremely relevant today. In 2011 Robert Ward was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. He was presented the award by the then University of NC School of the Arts Chancellor John Mauceri. Robert Ward himself was School of the Arts Chancellor from 1967 until 1975.
David Ford spoke to renowned American composer, educator, and former University of NC School of the Arts Chancellor Dr. Robert Ward. He died last April at the age of 96. He spoke with him days before the The Piedmont Opera and A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute’s production of Ward’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera The Crucible.