The Last Tycoon is a new opera after F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel. It is believed Fitzgerald's prototype for Monroe Stahr was Irving Thalberg, the head of production for Universal and MGM in 1930s. Built around Stahr, a young Hollywood movie producer and his powerful love story, this multi-media opera relies on film and imagery as its important component. With libretto by a distinguished New York writer and librettist David Yezzi (publications in The Atlantic and The New Criterion), it touches on issues as relevant today as in the 1930's, including a conflict between an artist and a power broker. Most of it takes place in California, in the setting of the Hollywood movie studios and is strongly influenced by the dominant jazz scene of 1930s.
First presentation of the opera The Last Tycoon took place in 2011 in San Francisco and Palo Alto. West Bay Opera presented Act 1 which ends at a point where Fitzgerald left the novel at the time of his death. However, Fitzgerald left sketches for the 2nd half of the novel which bring a number of interesting possibilities to potentially create a second act of the opera, something TV and film productions of The Last Tycoon have not explored so far.
In 2016 The Last Tycoon was honored at the national competition The American Prize (see the logo at the bottom of this page).
West Edge Opera has recorded and published an interview with Cyril Deaconoff regarding the upcoming performances of The Last Tycoon, as part of Snapshot program presenting operas by Bay area composers on February 24 in Berkeley and February 25 in San Francisco at Wilsey Opera Center. Check the Youtube link and WEO web site for more info: