Prolific composer Ricky Ian Gordon is in town to oversee workshop performances of Morning Star, his operatic setting of the 1940 film that follows a Russian Jewish immigrant family’s struggle to make it in America. “It is a piece about immigration, about sisters, about longing and loss … about being Jewish, being marginalized, about being Black,” says Gordon, adding that Morning Star is, “a musical melting pot of any number of American styles I absorbed from my mother, a famous Borscht Belt performer.” Gordon began working with librettist William M.
Hoffman (As Is, The Ghosts of Versailles libretto) more than a decade ago while adding to his extensive catalog, including his epic opera The Grapes of Wrath in 2007. The performances are the culmination of this year’s “Opera Fusion: New Works” series presented by CCM and Cincinnati Opera. Free, but reservations required. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, Memorial Hall, 513-241-2742; 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, Cohen Studio Theater, CCM, 513-556-4183. cincinnatiopera.org