Fitzgerald Opera commissioned John Harbison to create an operatic
Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby was published in 1925. The story recounts narrator Nick Carraway’s contacts with enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby and Gatsby’s ambition to reconcile with his former girlfriend, Daisy Buchanan, set in the Jazz Age on Long Island.
Fitzgerald: The novel was inspired by a young affair with socialite Ginevra King and the wild parties he frequented on Long Island’s North Shore in 1922.
Fitzgerald produced a preliminary draught in 1924 after relocating to the French Riviera. Fitzgerald sent the text to editor Maxwell Perkins, who convinced Fitzgerald to rewrite it over the winter.
Fitzgerald was happy with the material after modifications, but he was undecided about the book’s title and explored many possibilities. The final cover design by painter Francis Cugat pleased Fitzgerald, who integrated a visual aspect into the novel.
The Great Gatsby got largely positive reviews after its publication by Scribner’s in April 1925. Still, several literary experts thought it fell short of Fitzgerald’s earlier attempts and signified the end of his academic career.
The Great Gatsby was a commercial flop, selling fewer than 20,000 copies by October, and Fitzgerald’s dreams for a financial bonanza from the book were dashed.
When the author died in 1940, he thought he had failed and forgotten his work. Following his death, the result was subjected to a critical and academic re-evaluation during World War II. It quickly became a staple of most American high school curricula and popular culture. In the decades that followed, there were several stages and screen versions.
Gatsby continues to pique public and academic interest. The novel’s handling of socioeconomic class, representation of inherited vs. self-made riches, racism, environmentalism, and cynicism toward the American ideal are all highlighted by contemporary academics.
Since its release, The Great Gatsby has been adapted for the theatre several times. Owen Davis, an American dramatist, created the earliest known stage adaption, which was then adapted into a film in 1926.
The play, directed by George Cukor, received 112 curtains on Broadway on February 2, 1926. Later in the year, a successful tour featured concerts in Chicago from August 1 to October 2. To mark the 25th anniversary of James Levine’s debut, The New York Metropolitan Opera commissioned John Harbison to create an operatic adaptation of the novel.