the little OPERA theatre of ny
Past and Present:
Scenes from American Operas
June 22, 2019 at 5pm at Nolan Park
The little OPERA theatre of ny will present a FREE concert of scenes from American operas in collaboration with Bronx Opera and operamission. The concert will showcase the diversity of music and stories written for the opera stage by both native born and immigrant composers and librettists. The concert will take place outdoors on Governors Island in Nolan Park, in front of building 25. The performance is at 5pm and is FREE to the public. (Rain date: Sunday, June 23 at 4pm.)
Each of the three companies will present excerpts from operas with singers and piano. The little OPERA theatre of ny will showcase Luna Pearl Woolf and Caitlin Vincent’s Better Gods, which tells the story of the last Queen of Hawaii, Lili’uokalani, and the annexation of the island in 1898. Operamission will focus on two classic American operas written by immigrant composers: The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky and the melting pot opera Street Scene by Kurt Weill. Bronx Opera will present Marc Blitzstein’s Regina based upon the play The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman.
For complete visitor information, including an island map and ferry schedule visit:https://govisland.com/visit-the-island/ferry
Round-trip ferry tickets are $3 (children under 12, seniors, and IDNYC holders are free). Arrive to your ferry terminal (Brooklyn or Manhattan) at least 15 min before departure time to purchase your tickets. Lawn seating– bring a blanket and enjoy the music with a picnic! Visitors may bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to the Island or purchase snacks on-site from multiple food and beverage vendors on route. https://govisland.com/visit-the-island/food
An opera by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and librettist Caitlin Vincent, Better Gods is based upon the true story of the annexation of Hawaii in 1898 and of Queen Lili’uokalani, the island nation’s last sovereign monarch. Originally commissioned by the Washington National Opera, Better Gods premiered January 8 and 9, 2016 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Luna Pearl Woolf is at the pinnacle of a new generation of politically conscious and artistically progressive composers. Her music, praised by The New York Times for its “psychological nuances and emotional depth,” is characterized by its dramatic intention, with a penetrating focus on music’s capacity as a storytelling language.
Particularly renowned in the field of opera and vocal music, Woolf’s commissions include Jacqueline, on legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré, for Toronto’s Tapestry Opera and Opera Saratoga; and Better Gods, about Hawaii’s Queen Lili’uokalani, for Washington National Opera. Her opera, The Pillar, was awarded one of Opera America’s inaugural Discovery Grants for female composers.
Among Woolf’s most widely-performed works are “Après moi, le déluge,”written in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and “Angel Heart,” recently released worldwide on The Pentatone Oxingale Series, alongside a new German-language edition with author Cornelia Funke narrating. Noted collaborators include Matt Haimovitz, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Joyce DiDonato, the Brentano String Quartet, Dennis Russell Davies and the Bruckner Orchestra, among many others.
Woolf founded the ground-breaking Oxingale Records with Haimovitz in 2000. The Pentatone Oxingale Series will release a new composer-portrait album of her choral and vocal works in 2020.
operamission presents The Tragic American Archetype – a quick introspective plunge into the heroic souls (or lack thereof) of two classic post-World War II American operas: Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, featuring tenor Kameron Ghanavati as Sam Kaplan and Tom Rakewell, hosted by conductor Jennifer Peterson.
the little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) Founded in 2004, recently presented the New York premiere Benjamin Britten and Myfanwy Piper’s Owen Wingraveat GK ArtsCenter, which Parterre called an “exceptional job” and Cadenza magazine called “world class.” Another New York premiere the prior season was Johann Adolf Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe at Baruch Performing Arts Center in collaboration with New Vintage Baroque. LOTNY’s production of Hasse’s opera was heralded by Opera News as “superlative [and] an excellent and irrefutable case for programming this rare work, [with] indelible performances that should count among the finest and most complete interpretations heard in New York this season.” In the same season, LOTNY presented the New York premiere of Adrienne Danrich’s one woman show, This Little Light of Mine: The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price,as part of the 2018 New York Opera Fest. Other recent productions include the New York premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players (2017 at The Kaye Playhouse), praised by The New York Times as “well made and stylish” and the U.S. premiere of Chevalier de Saint-George’s L’Amant Anonym (2016 at 59E59 Theaters). Past seasons have included Floyd’s Slow Dusk & Markheim, Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Theif, a double-bill of Gustav Holst’s The Wandering Scholar and Sāvitri, the U.S. premiere of César Cui’s A Feast in the Time of the Plague, presented with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri, and the Virgil Thompson/Gertrude Stein opera The Mother of Us All. LOTNY commissioned and performed Inessa Zaretsky’s Man in a Black Coat as part of Target Margin’s Last Futurist Lab at The Bushwick Starr, and presented The Bohemians, a concert of Puccini’s music as part of the city-wide September Concert for 9/11. www.lotny.org.
Bronx Opera (BxO) is the only non-Lincoln Center opera company in NYC to have produced each year since their founding in 1967. BxO’s goal is to serve three communities: emerging operatic artists, the opera-going audience of the NYC area, and the diverse population of Bronx County. Part of how BxO works to make opera more accessible is by presenting all performances in English, and by bringing the work of American composers to the stage, including Marc Blitzstein (Regina), Aaron Copland (The Tender Land), Carlisle Floyd (Susannah), Kirke Mechem (Tartuffe and The Rivals), Gian Carlo Menotti (The Medium and The Consul), and Douglas Moore (The Ballad of Baby Doe and The Devil and Daniel Webster). BxO’s presention on June 22 will be from the above works.
Current and future operamission presentations can be followed at operamission.org. Plans currently underway include productions of the complete output of Georg Frideric Handel’s thirty-nine operas with period orchestra, the first four having been completed. Other major achievements include the commission and development of Antinous and Hadrian, full-length opera by composer Clint Borzoni and librettist Edward Ficklin. Our focus is on bringing the voice of composers, both old and new, directly to audiences by way of workshops and development of operas, annual cabaret evenings, and all varieties of repertoire.
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