Reitz presents on ‘Cold Mountain’ opera at conference

Christina L. Reitz, WCU associate professor of music, presented “Cold Mountain: A Contemporary Southern Opera” at the peer-reviewed Southern Studies Conference, held at Auburn University at Montgomery on Feb. 1-2.

“Cold Mountain,” an opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, was the recipient of the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and is based on the novel by the same name by Charles Frazier.

Reitz’s research examined how Higdon’s familiarity with the Appalachian folk tradition informed some of her musical choices while simultaneously maintaining her unique compositional voice. Specific focus was spent on the opera’s opening based on the Appalachian ballad “Shady Grove” as well as bluegrass and folk elements present in the opera’s act 2.