OPERAtion Brooklyn to Feature Trio of Contemporary Operas in March
From a prostitute who is desperately in love with her pimp to a teenage father whose baby will not stop crying, six short monodramas conspire to explore the diverse life situations of the individuals in Windows, a new work by composer Zach Redler and librettist Sara Cooper. The 40-minute staged song-cycle will feature performances by Sumayya Ali, Amelia Watkins, Jeffrey Gavett, Justin Hopkins, Brittney Redler, and Etai BenShlomo. Noah Himmelstein directs with Mila Henry on piano.
Opera on Tap will present a preview of their latest project, SMASHED: The Carrie Nation Story, by James Barry and Timothy Braun, which premieres April 4-6 at HERE Arts Center in the Dorothy B. Williams Theater. Based loosely on the life and memoirs of temperance leader Carrie A. Nation, this absurdly comic opera about drinking booze (and about the people who don't) was commissioned by Opera on Tap for the inauguration of its Roadwork Series that creates operas in New York City that are subsequently presented by Opera On Tap chapters around the country. The OPERAtion Brooklyn preview will be conducted by Conrad Chu with stage direction by Jenny Lee Mitchell with Mila Henry on piano and performances by Patricia Vital, Seth Gilman, Joseph Flaxman, Michael Bragg, CameRon Russell, Christiana Little, Kayleigh Butcher, and soprano Krista Wozniak as the ax-wielding moral vigilante.
Two sisters, one pregnant and one dying, confront rabbits, diapers and the end of time itself in Decoration, music by Mikael Karlsson, libretto by the composer and David Flodén. Presented by AOP, in collaboration with Manhattan School of Music, scenes from the opera will feature mezzo-sopranos Rebecca Ringle and Raehann Bryce-Davis, soprano Margreth Fredheim, and baritone Jason Cox, direction by Caren France, and Scott Rednour on the piano.
Windows and Decoration were developed during AOP's Composers & the Voice program, a year-long composition fellowship that includes mentorships by notable creators of contemporary opera and music-theater including John Corigliano, Daron Hagen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, and Stephen Schwartz. C&V is made possible with multi-year funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Redler and Cooper are Van Lier Fellows, a program made possible by The New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund and Musical Arts Fund. This event is dedicated to the Memory of Lois C. Schwartz, an AOP devotee and champion of new music, and is made possible in part with generous funding by The Victor Herbert Foundation.
OPERAtion Brooklyn has been hailed "a vital series" by TimeOut NY. Previously presented under the title Opera Grows in Brooklyn, the series premiered in March 2009 at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, Brooklyn, with the mission of presenting the most daring of contemporary opera and song in a relaxed, nightclub-style evening that encouraged drinks and discussion as part of the new classical experience. The hip and casual environment of the venue, low ticket price and fusion of artistic genres and styles makes OPERAtion Brooklyn the best place to experience an old art form being re-imagined by young composers and performers.