File puptcrit/puptcrit.0602, message 193

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Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 18:03:37 -0500
Subject: [Puptcrit] Bill Fosser-Opera in Focus Bill Fosser

Sad News

William Fosser 1930-2006

Bill Fosser received the Puppeteers of America President's Award at the festival in St Paul this summer.

I heard the news of his passing from a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who called, asking for a quote.

Here is the write up from the Award Presentation:

 William B. Fosser's Puppet Production Opera in Focus presents fully staged scenes from operas by Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Wagner and Gershwin Although the puppet opera takes place on a stage only five feet wide and two feet deep, the illusion of live musical theater prevails. The rod puppets manipulate by puppeteers who are seated below the intricately slotted stage floor... The remarkable sets are designed, built and painted by Mr. Fosser. Paul Guerra conceives and executes all of the beautiful and intricate costumes. Scenes from Aida and Phantom of the Opera and many other classics capture the imagination of a wide range of audiences. Miniature opera with puppets has been a Chicago tradition since 1936. Developed by Ernest Wolf and produced by Frederick Chramer, the first Kungsholm Miniature Opera Theater opened in 1941. Bill Fosser began working at the 208 seat Kungsholm theater at the age of 14 in 1943 and he returned in the 50s and again from 1963-1966 to serve as the dir
 ector. K
 ungsholm closed in 1971 but Bill Fosser never gave up on the vision of opera with puppets. Bill's Opera in Focus was first presented in 1958 while pursuing his career as a motion picture art director and set decorator. Since 1993 Opera in Focus has presented regular seasons at the Rolling Meadows Park District building charming audiences - from the lover of opera to the adult or child simply fascinated by the fine art of puppetry. 
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