WORLD PREMIERE Screening “GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS” An Opera Reimagined for Film

Date to archive 2022-01-17

A new opera by Gordon Getty, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, receives its world premiere—as an opera reimagined for film—on Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 4 p.m. (PST). The public screening, presented by Festival Napa Valley in partnership with the Mill Valley Film Festival, takes place at the Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 4th Street, San Rafael, CA.

Getty’s fourth opera is based on the popular 1934 novella 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” dedicates most of his adult life. The opera chronicles Chips’ story of love, loss and learning over his decades-long tenure at Brookfield.

This film, directed by Brian Staufenbiel, stars tenor Nathan Granner, soprano Marnie Breckenridge, baritone Lester Lynch and bass-baritone Kevin Short. 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.

View the “GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS” trailer here:

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 reimagined 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.

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.