Posts Tagged “opera”
Baltimore, MD – On April 1 and 2 at the University of Baltimore’s Performing Arts Theater, The Figaro Project will present its “Contemporary Opera Trio,” three world-premiere one-act operas written by Baltimore-based composers. The production will be performed free to the public.
Operas include Paul Mathews’ crime drama “Piecing it Apart,” Douglas Buchanan’s creation myth “Lux et Tenebrae,” and Joshua Bornfield’s political comedy “Strong like Bull.” Featuring thirteen local performers and accompanied by piano trio, the operas will be fully-staged and sung in English. Jim Stopher will conduct.
After The Figaro Project’s inaugural season, founder Caitlin Vincent pursued an ambitious program of contemporary opera for the troupe’s second season. She formed a collaborative partnership with three Peabody composers, including Peabody Dean of Academic Affairs, Paul Mathews, with the goal of exposing the Baltimore region to new opera in an accessible way.
Mathews notes, “The Figaro Project has prepared these operas for their first hearings as if they were staples of the repertoire. Singers may dream of Italian arias, but real artists engage the problems of our world with the language and idioms of our time. ”
“All opera was once new,” says Vincent, “and this is an opportunity to experience three new operas that were conceived and created right in the heart of Baltimore.”
What: The Figaro Project’s Contemporary Opera Trio
When: Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 7:30pm
Where: University of Baltimore’s Performing Arts Theater – 21 West Mt. Royal Avenue
About The Figaro Project
Founded in June 2009 with grants from the Peabody Institute and The Johns Hopkins University, The Figaro Project is dedicated to giving performing opportunities to young opera singers and presenting opera in an accessible and affordable way. For more information, please visit www.thefigaroproject.com.
Renegade chamber opera company OperaHub concludes its season-long celebration of opera with a fully-staged production of The Four-Note Opera—Tom Johnson’s lovingly subversive, hilariously tongue-in-cheek one-act salute to the genre—collaboratively created by OperaHub’s inaugural Resident Company. More information at http://www.operahub.org
Performances: 8pm on Thursday, March 3; 8pm on Friday, March 4; 3pm + 8pm on Saturday, March 5 at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston.
FREE ADMISSION! In the spirit of accessible opera for all, tickets are absolutely free and may be reserved in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, requested performance date, and number of seats
LIVE OAK THEATRE, BERKELEY, JUNE 17-20, 2010
X AT THE HEART OF AMERICA / X IN THE SOUL OF EUROPE AND BEYOND
Goat Hall Productions / San Francisco Cabaret Opera celebrates its 10th Annual Fresh Voices Festival of New Works 2010 with four evenings (two programs) of real-life stories of loneliness and alienation, the spirit of adventure and the will to survive (America) and dark re-creations of old tales with new twists (Europe and Beyond).
Ten fully-staged short operas will Xplore: an erotic transformation in Hungary; starving artists in a sideshow in Czechoslovakia; a pioneer woman in Nebraska driven mad by loneliness; an Xpresident disintegrating in America. And more!
Program A (June 17 and 19, 8pm)
X at the Heart of America
Featuring the WORLD PREMIERE of *Trifles, John G. Bilotta/John F. McGrew
(from the story and play by Susan Glaspell)
George Bush: The Last 100 Days, Chris Whittaker
Life is Fine, Edward Knight/Langston Hughes
X in the Soul of Europe and Beyond
**The Bloody Chamber, Daniel Felsenfeld/Elizabeth Isadora Gold
Job: a Masque, by Mark Alburger
Program B (June 18, 8 pm and June 20, 7 pm)
X in the Soul of Europe and Beyond
The Hunger Art, Jeff Myers/Royce Vavrek
Medea Alone, David Garner
Theresa Kren, Mark Narins
X at the Heart of America
Letter from Linda, Alden Jenks/Frank Polite
Sutter Creek, Robert Denham
One Weekend Only: June 17-20, 2010
Thursday, June 17 – 8 pm
Friday, June 18 – 8 pm
Saturday, June 19 – 8 pm
Sunday, June 20 – 7 pm
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley (above Rose Street)
Advance tickets: $20 general admission/$15 seniors/students
Tickets at door: $25 general admission/$20 seniors/students
Reserve tickets online @ www.goathall.org or call 415-289-6877
Composers: Ten composers, two from New York, one from Pennsylvania, one from Okalahoma, and six local composers: Mark Alburger, John G. Bilotta, Robert Denham, David Garner, Alden Jenks, Mark Narins
Artistic Director: Harriet March Page
Pianists: Hadley McCarroll, Keisuke Nakagoshi
Stage Directors: Mark Alburger, Meghan Dibble, Ross Halper, Harriet March Page
Conductors: Martha Stoddard, Hadley McCarroll, Keisuke Nakagoshi
Lighting Designer: Delayne Medoff
Twenty-two amazing and brave local professional singers, including Eliza OMalley, Jo Vincent Parks, Indre Viskontas, Raina Simons, Michael Desnoyers, Nathaniel Marken, Maria Mikheyenko, Katherine Howell, Justin Marsh and Meghan Dibble.
** The Bloody Chamber – Libretto by Elizabeth Isadora Gold, adapted from the novella by Angela Carter.”
*Trifles is sponsored in part through Subito, the quick advancement grant program of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum.
MORE ABOUT TRIFLES , JOHN G. BILOTTA, COMPOSER
The Susan Glaspell Society has invited the composer to discuss the operatic setting of the play at the 20th Annual American Literature Conference in late May, 2010. Members of the Society and the ALA Conference will attend an open rehearsal of the opera during the conference. This production is also linking up with the public schools, where Susan Glaspell’s story is still read, and the composer will be speaking with students as part of their study unit on “A Jury of Her Peers”.
The Susan Glaspell Society was formed in 2003, following a year of exciting Glaspell conference panels at the American Theatre and Drama Society section of the American Literature Association Conference in Boston and at the Twentieth Century Literature Conference in Louisville. The SG Society reflects the continued growth of Glaspell scholarship as more and more academics, scholars, theatre professionals, and general readers realize that Glaspell is a major American woman writer whose remarkable body of work — drama, journalism, short fiction, and novels — has been too long overlooked.
Born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1876, Susan Glaspell rebelled against society’s expectations and, rather than passively wait for a husband to appear, went to Drake University in Des Moines, graduating in June of 1899, and then worked as a reporter for the Des Moines Daily News, where she covered the murder trial of a farmwife accused of murdering her husband, the murder on which “Trifles” is based. One of the most frequently performed one-act plays in schools, colleges, and community theaters, “Trifles” has also been filmed no fewer than five times, including a television adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock.
To most readers Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) is still known primarily as the author of “Trifles,” the frequently anthologized, classic feminist play about two women’s secret discovery of a wife’s murder of her husband, or the short-story “A Jury of Her Peers,” a re-writing of that piece. But Glaspell wrote over fifty short stories, nine novels, fourteen plays, and one biography. In 1931 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her play “Alison’s House.” Glaspell was the co-founder of the Provincetown Players (1916-1922) with her husband George Cram Cook.
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Composer Whitney George brings her exciting one-act opera The Yellow Wallpaper to stage with a large chamber ensemble comprised of rising NYC performers. Based on the proto-feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper tells the story of a woman’s descent to madness through her obsession with a wallpaper and an oppressive husband. George’s setting mirrors the conflict between the man and woman by employing a divided chamber ensemble utilizing an extraordinary palette of tone colors, musical styles and composition techniques. The performance takes place on Sunday, March 28th, at 7:30pm at the Tank, 354 W45th St., NYC. Admission is $10, $5 for students.
“The Yellow Wallpaper is a strange and thrilling work. The music is elegant, and simultaneously engages and surprises the listener, in every way heightening the already quite eerie text.” – Ursula Oppens
The Yellow Wallpaper was developed by George as part of her residency with CUNY’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, directed by pianist Ursula Oppens. George adapted the libretto herself, and was intimately involved in all aspects of the production. Working with a tight-knit group of dedicated performers, George was able to draw on her experience as a composer, producer and visual artist to create a truly interdisciplinary work where the tones, text and set design work together and inform and enhance each other. George’s panache for eclectic mixed ensembles is evident in the unusual instrumentation supporting a single female singer and single male actor. Utilizing flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, bass, celeste, harpsichord, vibraphone, crotales and percussion, George uses the ensemble deftly, creating a myriad of textures out of the infinite combinations it allows for. The result is a truly unique piece of contemporary music that harkens back to her influences such as Bartok, John Corigliano and Danny Elfman while pushing bravely forward.
“[Whitney George's] music challenges and delights.”- Jason Eckardt, composer
Whitney George, composer, was first introduced to music through instrumental performance on flute at age 10. Her focus shifted to composition after taking a music theory course at age 16. For her first two years of Undergraduate study at California State University: Chico, her focus was on instrumental performance. CSU: Chico commissioned two original works for wind ensemble before she continued her Undergraduate study at the California Institute of the Arts. While there, George focused on interdisciplinary collaboration: fusing music and other fine arts in an effort to more clearly communicate with an audience. Such goals led to the self-production of a full-length opera titled “Alphabephobia: Something Goes Wrong Everyday”, which includes animation, dance and theater alongside music. Her music, performance art, and installations have had both international and domestic premieres, primarily in England and the East and West coasts of the US. This academic year, George’s works will be premiered at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music where she is currently working towards her Master’s degree, studying with Jason Eckardt and Tania Leon. Her current interdisciplinary projects set to premiere in the spring of 2010 include “The Yellow Wallpaper”, an opera based on the short story of the same title, and an original score for the 1928 American silent film “The Tell-Tale Heart”, based on the Poe short story.
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Wednesday, May 26-Friday, May 28, 8pm: The staged production of Pascal Dusapin’s chamber opera “To Be Sung,” in its West Coast Premiere.
This haunting work, with text by Gertrude Stein, is a kaleidoscope of colors and textures for both voices and instruments; by turns whimsical, dramatic and poignant. Since its 1993 premiere, To Be Sung has been presented more than fifty times throughout Europe.
The cast features singers from from UCSD’s graduate program, along with UCSD faculty member Philip Larson. Directed by Susan Narucki (one of the works’ original cast members), To Be Sung takes place in the Department’s new experimental theatre in the Conrad Prebys Music Center. Guest conductor Julian Pellicano leads members of the Department’s new music group Palimpsest.
Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theatre, 7PM: $25 general, 20% discount for UCSD faculty, staff, students. Subscription tickets also available at a greater discount. Tickets available at UCSD Box Office (858.534.TIXS) or at the door.
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On January 23 and January 30, 2010, Long Beach Opera will recruit The Good Soldier Schweik back to active duty in composer Robert Kurka’s anti-war opera based on Czech novelist Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek’s 1923 witty military satire of the same name. The opera follows the misadventures of Schweik as he stumbles through World War I attempting to do the “right” thing while turning the world around him into chaos. Irrepressible, unpredictable, perpetually optimistic, he leaves observers wondering whether he is a fool or a very wise observer of humanity. Kurka’s punchy score is a mixture of American musical, brass band riffs, jazz notes, and Czech folk tunes with overtones of Kurt Weill. Tenor Matthew DiBattista, who will sing the demanding role of Schweik, has been described as “brilliant” by Opera News. He has performed on national and international opera and concert stages with conductors James Conlon, Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Shaw and more. The opera will be conducted by Long Beach Opera Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek. Director/Choreographer Ken Roht states, “A slightly raw, guerilla-circus aesthetic combined with darker Brechtian-storytelling will be our approach to exploiting as many of the opera’s varied tones as possible.”
Tickets are $45-$95 online at www.longbeachopera.org or by calling 562-432-5934.
Dates and Times:
Jan 23, 2010 at 8PM at the Center Theater in Long Beach, California.
Jan. 30, 2010 at 4PM at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica.
Addl info at www.longbeachopera.org
Schweik Marches into Long Beach and Santa Monica
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Leonard Nimoy Thalia Hall at Symphony Space
December 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025
Tickets: $12 students and seniors, $15 general admission, $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For tickets, call 212-864-5400 or go to symphonyspace.org.
The After Dinner Opera Company presents the world premiere of Jordan Wentworth Farrar’s The Day Boy and the Night Girl, an operatic re-imagining of the classic Victorian fairy tale by George MacDonald. Wentworth Farrar’s new three-act opera debuts at Symphony Space on December 29, 2009.
The Day Boy and the Night Girl follows the lives of Phytogen and Nycteris, both of whom have been imprisoned by the sorcery of Watho, the she-wolf. The boy, Phytogen, has been cursed never to see night while Nycteris, the girl, is doomed never to see the light of day. This retelling of the fairy tale was adapted by Wentworth Farrar from her memory of reading the story as a child. “I wanted to take the premise of the book and make it my own,” she says.
According to Curator Magazine, “Wentworth Farrar’s music is tonal, with haunting melodic themes interspersed with tightly stacked vocal harmonies… a new and unusual work.”
AOL-DigitalCity notes “an eerie yet beautifully melodic chorus adorned with splendid vocal harmonies reverberates out from a fantastical scene of dancing fireflies, mystical mermaids and other apparitions.”
The Village Voice calls it “An enchanted evening.”
The opera also marks the 60th anniversary of the After Dinner Opera Company, which commissioned The Day Boy and Night Girl to celebrate its milestone birthday. Since 1950, the After Dinner Opera has produced hundreds of American chamber operas by more than 70 composers, many of them historic debuts; including works by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Ned Rorem, Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein.
For more information about The Day Boy and the Night Girl by Jordan Wentworth Farrar please visit www.dayboynightgirl.com.
To hear music samples from The Day Boy and the Night Girl go to the DBNG Facebook page: click here
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