Where’s Dick?

Composed by Stewart Wallace
Libretto by Michael Korie

Houston Grand Opera, 1989
Directed by Richard Foreman
Conducted by John DeMain
Designed by Richard Foreman

With Henry Stram, Angelina Reaux,
Joyce Castle, Randall Wong,
Cindy Benson, Wilbur Pauley,
Ken Jennings, Natalie Oliver,
Daryl Henriksen, Mary McClain,
Karen McVoy, Consuelo Hill,
Matthew Lord, Charles Workman

Opera Omaha Fall Festival, 1988
Directed by Anne Bogart
Musical Direction by Jeff Halpern

Playwrights Horizons Readings
Directed by David Warren, 1988
Directed by Robert Furmann, 1987


“Wallace and Korie’s collaboration both celebrates and mourns urban chaos. The musical materials are skillfully, often imaginatively, manipulated. American opera has usually made the bad mistake of building on other people’s cultures. Here, Mr. Wallace gives us a panorama of indigenous Americana. Luridness is typical of Korie’s black and witty libretto. Christmas is celebrated with ‘a little revenge.’ An extended set of ensembles turns sadomasochism into high comedy. Where’s Dick? is the type of musical stage work that we ought to be pursuing.”

–Bernard Holland, The New York Times

“A grisly comic book indictment of the American credo. Both grotesque and sublime, the show should splatter its blood on many another stage.”

–Leighton Kerner, The Village Voice

Where’s Dick? is a sassy, grotesque, funny, silly, merrily mean-spirited new opera that satirizes the sex and violence of modern society. Korie’s libretto is outrageous farce, a nightmare Bertold Brecht might have dreamed on a particularly bad night… a lineup of old-time comic book crooks but with a contemporary edge.”

–Mark Swed, The Wall Street Journal

“If Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure had been scripted by Jean Genet, the result might have been Where’s Dick?…. which may well be the most cynically amoral opera since The Coronation of Poppea. Wallace’s music is a dazzling hybrid of minimalist technique and American pop idioms. Korie’s tale includes kidnapping, murder, intersexuality, sado-masochism, and pox-on-all-your-houses raspberries at religion, the law, capitalism and high society. This vision of total corruption is mitigated by a rather cheerful nihilism and an often brilliantly funny script. ”

–Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News

Where’s Dick? combines an Animal House sense of humor with the comic book level of political awareness that has resulted from eight years of Reaganism. This extremely contemporary piece is a welcome addition to the operatic repertoire. Where’s Dick? should continue to outrage audiences for years to come.”

–George Heymont, San Francisco Bay Area Reporter

Further Reading

“Two Operas You’ll Never See Performed at the Met,” Huffington Post