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Press Releases

The New York Opera Alliance Presents the Sixth Annual New York Opera Fest Featuring 20 Local Companies Virtual Premieres, Walking Tours, Podcasts, a

April 19, 2021 | By AMT PR | April Thibeault april@amtpublicrelations.com

 

“NYC’s opera scene is at its most open and inviting in decades, and nobody seems as anxious to tear down the imaginary walls keeping novices out of the halls as the New York Opera Festival.” - Time Out New York

“If your view of opera is that it’s an old-fashioned, elitist art form, the New York Opera Fest would like to prove you wrong.” – Gothamist

“NYC’s coolest opera festival” – Budget Travel

WHAT: Sixth Annual New York Opera Fest

WHEN: May 1-June 30, 2021

WHERE: Streaming online on companies’ respective digital platforms

HOW: Tickets range from FREE-$60. Tickets may be purchased by contacting NYOA at newyorkoperafest.org. Tickets go on sale April 1, 2021.

New York City, NY (For Release 04.19.21) — Hailed as “a remarkably strong and diverse exploration of everything opera can be in the city (The New York Times),” the New York Opera Fest celebrates its sixth season with both virtual and in-person performances by 20 local, New York City-based opera companies. Presented by the New York Opera Alliance, with support from OPERA America, this annual festival runs for two months May-June 2021 starting with a special kick-off event April 29th. For a complete list of events, fans can turn to NYoperafest.com.

The festival showcases the breadth and diversity of opera in New York City through events ranging from virtual reality to improv opera, with productions in theaters and unique digital auditory and in-person visual journeys of New York City via apps. (Please scroll down for preliminary festival schedule.)

“This year’s festival transformed its line-up entirely due to performative restrictions,” explains Megan Gillis, chairwoman of the New York Opera Fest and co-founder of City Lyric Opera. “Having to reinvent itself as a virtual festival, the range of work being presented is astounding! We are pleasantly surprised to learn of so many innovative productions on tap this year, as well as the essential courage, energy, and hard work required from their respective staff members and artists. We are honored to provide this unique platform at a time when both artists and audiences are starving for live performance. The NYC opera community lives on!”

Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America, the national membership organization for opera that supports NYOA and the Opera Fest, notes, “The New York Opera Alliance and NY Opera Fest have been at the forefront of creative leadership, in both their programming and partnership. Companies across North America are seeing the benefits of resource-sharing in order to reach new and more diverse audiences. Collaboration has become a valuable tool for companies across the field, and Opera Fest is a shining example of the benefit that results from it.”

To help companies navigate the realities of the COVID-19 crisis and also encourage responsible social isolation, NYOA has pivoted its 2020 and 2021 festivals to virtual ones. Leading the vanguard of the local opera community, NYOA continues to monitor the fluid situation around COVID-19 by providing helpful resources for financial aid which may be found at http://OPERAamerica.org/covid19. NYOA is also hosting biweekly virtual meetings for NYOA members to discuss, monitor, and provide solutions for the changing landscape for opera in New York. 

About New York Opera Alliance

The New York Opera Alliance (NYOA) is a consortium of New York City opera companies and producers established to enhance and support the visibility and viability of opera in NYC. Founded in 2011, NYOA has grown from 13 organizations to 50 strong. Since 2013, NYOA has been fiscally sponsored by OPERA America. NYOA believes that New Yorkers and visitors to New York alike can be better informed about the breadth, range and vitality of New York City’s opera-producing community. NYOA is a community-driven organization; together, they aspire to increase awareness of participating organizations, share ideas and resources, and generate revenue for collaborative projects.

About OPERA America    
OPERA America is the national membership organization for artists, administrators, trustees and audiences, dedicated to supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera. Based in New York City at the National Opera Center, a custom-built rehearsal and performance facility for the opera field, OPERA America is committed to advancing new work, audience engagement, civic practice, artist and leadership development, research, national advocacy and an inclusive industry that moves opera forward in America.

 

Festival Details                                                                                                                              

(preliminary schedule in chronological order | subject to change)

*world premiere 

 

New York Opera Fest Kick-Off Event and NYOA Service Awards

April 29, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m. EST

Tune in: newyorkoperafest.org or Facebook.com/NYOperaFest

Broadcast: Live

Tickets: FREE

The festival kicks off with this one-night only virtual event featuring both live and pre-recorded performances from New York City’s opera companies. In addition, NYOA will celebrate the life and honor the memory of Antoine Hodge as this NYOA Festival Honoree. Hodge was a bass-baritone who was a chorus member in “Porgy and Bess” at the Metropolitan Opera. He died of COVID-19. Hosted by Megan Gillis, Chairwoman of New York Opera Festival.

 

Regina Opera Company 

May 1-June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Recorded at the company's Sunset Park theater 

Tickets: FREE

Regina Opera presents their “2021 Spring Concert.” This is a half-hour video concert (available to stream for two months) of popular opera arias and songs featuring four of Regina Opera's soloists, Lisa Bryce, soprano; Galina Ivannikova, mezzo-soprano; Lindell Carter and Hyunho Cho, tenors; accompanied by pianist Dmitry Glivinskiy, recorded in Sunset Park theater on December 13, 2020.  Among the selections are arias by Puccini, Verdi, and Massenet. 

 

Hunter Opera Theater

May 1-June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded

Tickets: FREE

Hunter Opera Theater presents the Richard Burke Pocket Opera at Hunter College. This year’s operas are: The Taxi Driver, libretto and music by Joe Young, The Blue Bird Opera: The Pursuit of Happiness, libretto and music by Alyssa Regent, Panic Room, libretto and music by Deshawn Withers, and Prince Danila Govorila, music by Matthew Sandahl, with a libretto by Alkiviades Meimaris.

 

Prototype Presents Modulation

May 1-June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded and available for download (access from home or Times Square

Tickets: FREE

Commissioned, Developed, and Produced by PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now. Prototype presents Modulation, a creative investigation on the strands that weave together our lives over this past tumultuous and revelatory year. A digital, self-guided exploration of these distanced times created by 13 of the most provocative and diverse voices in the contemporary music idiom; Modulation leads you through the themes of isolation, identity, and fear, with the connection of breath. An electrifying auditory and visual journey of new creations awaits. 

 

Prototype Presents Times3 (Times x Times x Times)

May 1-June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded and on demand

Tickets: $5 and Up

Commissioned, Developed, and Produced by PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now. Composer Pamela Z and theatre artist Geoff Sobelle collaborate on a site-specific sonic journey through Times Square – past, present and imagined. In this work of sound and space, the listener is brought into a realm where the city and score come together and fall apart and come together again. Times3 is Prototype’s fourth iteration of Out of Bounds, a platform for new vocal performance pieces taking place in unlikely locations throughout New York.

 

Lighthouse Opera

May 1-June 30,2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded and on demand

Tickets: FREE

The Lighthouse Opera Company presents "Die Zauberfloete" - a virtual "Distant Flute" by W. A. Mozart, conducted by Stephen Francis Vasta and directed by John Tedeschi
and scenes/arias from Verdi's "La Traviata" performed by a few different singers. Performed in German with English dialogue in a virtual, socially distant setting. 

 

No Dominion Theater Company

May 1-June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded

Tickets: FREE

Hindsight is the new true crime opera by librettist Bea Goodwin and composer Felix Jarrar featuring singers Gabriel Hernandez and Joseph Beutel. The opera raises points about fascism and elitism in America and how they tie into our modern world, 100 years later. It is based on the history of the Leopold and Loeb case. Leopold and Loeb, notorious for their familial wealth and intelligence, set out to commit the perfect crime, just for the thrill of it. This case examines abuse of power and privilege—a seemingly timeless echo reverberating within our nation. Washington, and critically acclaimed baritone, Kenneth Overton, who will be the featured soloist of the tours. This on-demand free showcase takes you “behind the lens” of the opera’s production.

 

On Site Opera 

May 1-July 31, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded via App

Tickets: $60 and Up

On Site Opera once again re-defines the immersive and site-specific experience in Spring 2021 with The Road We Came, a new opera- and song-based project that explores the composers, musicians and places that define the rich Black history of New York City through a series of self-guided, musical walking tours. Celebrating a collection of never-recorded and seemingly lost classical compositions by Black composers, The Road We Came will use filmed musical performances and spoken narration to connect audiences to the musical timeline of Harlem, Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen and lower Manhattan. From the home and texts of the prolific poet Langston Hughes, to Lincoln Center, to the African Burial Ground National Monument, and beyond, The Road We Came will open windows to the past and re-frame the present. The Road We Came is a multimedia collaboration between On Site Opera, Ryan & Tonya McKinny’s Keep the Music Going Productions, award-winning biographer and Harlem historian Eric K. Washington. Each tour is approximately a 90-minute immersive musical experience that patrons can access via a walking tour app.

 

HERE Arts Center

May 1-June 30, 2021 

Broadcast: Pre-recorded and on demand

Tickets: TBA

A live serial space opera from the creators of the world’s first Zoom opera All Decisions Will Be Made By Consensus and the digital surveillance opera Looking at You. Watch all seven episodes from Season 1 – originally streamed live weekly from October 29-December 17, 2020.

 

New Camerata Opera

May 6 and 8, 2021, @ 8:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Live with pre-recorded elements 

Tickets: $40 and Up

The Brooklyn Job is an interactive, virtual museum heist written and directed by New York comedian Sarah Morgan Ashey. Under the music direction of Dan Franklin Smith, this thrilling narrative is set to wide-ranging repertoire selections performed by a cast of ten singers. On-location shoots, professionally recorded audio, and live performance elements converge with engaging audience polls to create a truly unique and exciting story. Guests can enhance their at-home viewing experience by opting into chic cocktail kits and themed party favors for a fully immersive experience. The cast includes sopranos Samina Aslam and Barbara Porto; mezzo-sopranos Eva Parr, Julia Tang, and Anna Tonna; tenors Erik Bagger and Victor Khodadad; baritones Stan Lacy and Scott Lindroth; and bass Kofi Hayford.

 

Brooklyn College Conservatory

May 14, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m. EST May 18, 2021 @ 12:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Pre-recorded

Tickets: FREE

Directed by Isabel Milenski with music preparation by Dmitry Glivinskiy, The Brooklyn College Opera Theatre will present a production of Bizet's "Carmen" via Facebook. 

 

Victor Herbert Renaissance Project

May 16-23, 2021 

Broadcast: Archival Performance Footage

Tickets: $10 

The Victor Herbert Renaissance Project LIVE! presents HEART O'MINE, the Irish music of Victor Herbert (1859-1924) and his grandfather Samuel Lover (1797-1868). You can see the entire concert in the upcoming New York Opera Associates 2021 Festival. This particular work "Cruiskeen Lawn" is an old Irish drinking song arranged by Victor Herbert for the Friendly Sons of Erin Society of New York's Glee Club which he founded around 1900 and still exists today.

 

SAS Performing Arts Company and Studios

June 5-12, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Pre-recorded and on-demand

Tickets: $15

SAS Performing Arts Company presents “A Night at the Opera”, a virtual concert featuring music of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, and Strauss. Featuring members of SAS Performing Arts Concert Opera.

 

Beth Morrison Projects

May 27, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Live 

Tickets: FREE

Join Beth Morrison Projects for the Next Generation concert and discover the most daring voices in the industry, streamed digitally from National Sawdust in Brooklyn. BMP: Next Generation was established to stay connected to a new generation of aspiring composers, singers and artists. Chosen from over 100 applicants, 10 first-round composer finalists are chosen to be showcased in an evening of new music. Two composers will then be chosen by a panel of industry professionals for a second-round competition, returning the following year to premiere a new and original 30-minute work. Ultimately, one of the two finalists receive a commission for an evening-length work, including the development and World Premiere production of their project. BMP’s first generation of composers have gone on to be leaders of their generation – Du Yun, Ted Hearne, David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Kamala Sankaram, and others -- we're excited to discover who will be next! 

 

AS/COA

May 28, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Pre-recorded

Tickets: FREE

Ebbó (1998) is an opera-oratorio by Cuban composer Louis Aguirre and librettist Rafael Almanza. The piece is an expression and reinvention of Afro-Caribbean religious, aesthetic, and musical heritage. This new production, commissioned by Americas Society from Dominican artist Yelaine Rodríguez, was created specifically to be seen online. The musical ensemble, including a solo soprano (Estelí Gómez), narrator, and instruments including Latin Jazz master Bobby Sanabria, was recorded independently by musicians scattered around the world, from New York to California, and from Tokyo to Buenos Aires. 

 

Heartbeat Opera

May 29, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. and May 30, 2021 @ 3:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Live, in-person socially distanced performances 

Tickets: $5

Heartbeat has commissioned its first new opera! The Extinctionist, composed by Daniel Schlosberg with a libretto by Amanda Quaid, will be developed in a semi-staged presentation at PS21 in Chatham, NY -- the premiere of the full production is planned for Spring 2022. The 60-minute one-act opera is scored for four singers and four multi-instrumentalist players. A young couple is trying to have a baby. Ice caps are melting. Brooklyn will soon be underwater. Upcycling is the new recycling. The Woman wonders: What if the only way to protect her future daughter was to not have her? Schlosberg’s music follows Quaid’s tightly-drawn libretto, from contemporary small talk to roiling dreamscape, its acute style encompassing witty gesture, expressionist stichomythia, and full-on dramatic pathos in the tradition of opera’s great mad scenes. Surrounded by apple orchards and acres of beautiful land, the open-air pavilion at PS21 is a poignant place to begin our journey on this piece questioning motherhood, climate collapse, and our relationship to nature.

 

Little Opera Theater of NY

June 4, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Live

Tickets: $5 and Up

Enjoy one of the earliest Venetian chamber operas, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, by Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, and music of the time by Barbara Strozzi and Dario Costello. This performance will be sung in German with simultaneous English translation and presented as a livestream from St. John’s in the Village, NYC.

 

The American Opera Project

June 13, 2021 @ 4:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast: Live

Tickets: FREE

Created and hosted by Emmy Award-winning soprano Adrienne DanrichMusic as the Message (MaM) is an interactive, virtual series. Streamed live, MaM celebrates the power of music to unify and to inspire healing, joy, laughter, love and most importantly, community. Adrienne, along with guest artists, the MaM choir and commissioned composers, leads a program of uplifting songs and spoken word. The MaM artists sing live from their own homes and encourage attendees to join in and lift their voices, as well —on mute, of course. Following this musical catharsis, the audience is welcome to speak with the artists, and reflect or listen in support of their fellow participants. The Music as the Message series is presented by The American Opera Project in association with Opera On Tap.

 

Bronx Opera 

May 8-August 29, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded Zoom performance Bronx TV live broadcast and interviews complemented by archived performance footage

Tickets: FREE

Mozart's IMPRESARIO in the age of Zoom. Directed by Benjamin Spierman, Conducted by Michael Spierman. Piano Accompaniment by Eric Kramer. Starring Blake Friedman, Halley Gilbert, Ben Spierman, Hannah Spierman and Jack Anderson White. Drops on YouTube the evenings of Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST. Bronx Opera and Bronxnet Community Cable present "Sunday Night at the Opera". Each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. EST (beginning May 16th), Bronx Opera will present a production from Bronxnet's vault. They will add pre-show intros and intermission interviews with cast and staff of each show. This will run all the way through June (and into August).

 

Divaria Productions

June 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded Film

Tickets: $20

Created during COVID-19 on an intercontinental basis with individuals in four different locations, Rival Queens tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. This biopic represents a new form of art that melds documentary film with the music of opera which serves as the driving force of the story. It draws on the primary sources of the letters between these women who never actually met in person, and historical research, culminating in narration that connects the letters with music from Maria Stuarda. The story is a historic metaphor for the tragedy of judgment and choosing fear over trust, painting a powerful picture of the destruction that the naked push for power leaves in its wake. The film premiered with Bay Street Theatre and was recently an official selection for the NYC Indie Film Fest as well as the Docs without Borders Film Festival.

 

dell'Arte Opera Ensemble

May 1-August 31, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-recorded

Tickets: FREE

From Songs of Hibernation to Summer Garden Recitals...dAOE keeps to its mission of providing emerging opera artists with training and performance opportunities necessary to bridge the gap between the conservatory and a flourishing career by mounting a series of concert performances. Artistic Director, Chris Fecteau, prepares each of its singers and serves as pianist for many broadcasts. dAOE will offer rebroadcasts of this winter's selection and will post new material over May to August with new garden recitals on their YouTube channel.

 

Experiments in Opera

May 1–June 30, 2021

Broadcast: Pre-Recorded podcasts

Tickets: FREE

Aqua Net & Funyuns is a podcast opera featuring five newly-commissioned, original stories, each written by a different librettist/composer combo. Drawing from the style of audio fiction podcasts, the 25-minute, serial episodes are designed specifically to tell compelling narratives with voices, instruments and immersive sound design. Aqua Net & Funyuns features music by Tariq Al-Sabir, Jason Cady, Kamala Sankaram, Aaron Siegel and Michi Wiancko, and librettos by Jason Cady, Cara Ehlenfeldt, Annie-Sage Whitehurst and Daniel Shepard.

 

Indie Opera Podcast

June Date TBA

Broadcast: Facebook Live

Tickets: FREE

A Zoom Live Panel with transgender singers (artists TBA) hosted by Charles Sachs.

 

 

 

This program is made possible with the generous support of The Howard Gilman Foundation.

 

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