3 Bklyn Opera Groups Join In OPERA GROWS IN BROOKLYN

On Friday, March 20, 2009 at 8:00PM, three Brooklyn opera groups, American Opera Projects (AOP), Opera on Tap, and Remarkable Theater Brigade, will come together for OPERA GROWS IN BROOKLYN, an evening of all new opera scenes and songs from contemporary composers. The show will be held at the Galapagos Art Space's new home in Brooklyn's ultra-hip DUMBO neighborhood. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students/seniors).

"Galapagos is about to become New York City's first LEED-certified, "green" cultural building. Director Robert Elmes is adding opera to a space known best for its Obie Award winning, progressive programming," says AOP Executive Director Charles Jarden. "We think it's not just cool for opera to be in a spectacular space like Galapagos, it's essential for creating new music that connects to audiences. Opera away from opera houses is the best way for the genre to thrive and grow. It is economically smart and creatively daring and the voices sound great to both new listeners and fans. If one audience member walks out with an interest in discovering music by living composers, we'll know we are on the right track."

American Opera Projects, in association with the Manhattan School of Music, will showcase scenes from Love/Hate by composer Jack Perla (pictured), a wry look at the makings and breakings of romantic relationships among a group of young Americans. The staged performance will feature students from the Manhattan School of Music under the direction of Caren France and conducted by Silas Huff. Love/Hate began development with AOP in the 2007-08 season of the Composers & the Voice fellowship program where Mr. Perla and five other emerging composers spent a year learning to write for the operatic voice. Mr. Perla, a San Francisco native, recently received a major commission from the Minnesota Opera for a full length opera for the 2012 season as part of their Opera Works Initiative.

Opera on Tap, a group of singers who have made headlines for bringing opera to barrooms and taverns across the city, will present scenes from Cymbeline by Christopher Berg, an operatic rendering of the play by William Shakespeare. Referred to as "the American Hugo Wolf" (American Record Review) for his ability to illuminate the inner meaning of texts with his subtle harmonic language, Mr. Berg has composed countless songs as well as musicals and operas. His work has been performed around the world and in New York at the New York Festival of Song, The Mirror Visions Ensemble, and the New York Musical Theater Festival. Featuring select members of the Opera on Tap troupe, the scenes will be directed by Gorilla Repertory Theater founder Christopher Carter Sanderson (Macbeth, The Pirates of Penzance) whose theatrical production, Cymbeline, The NY Times declared a "rarity... in which all the tangled plotlines are clear". "Cymbeline is not often performed; it is seldom done this well."(D.J.R. Bruckner, NY Times)

Finally, it doesn't get more Brooklyn than G Train the Musical, Christian McLeer's comedy about five zany characters that get trapped on the train together, and have to figure out how to get along with one another. The Remarkable Theater Brigade, whose new operas and musicals have been engaging NYC audiences since 2003, will produce a selection of scenes from G Train the Musical with electronic accompaniment featuring sounds taken from the New York Subway System. G Train the Musical premiered in 2005 at the Arclight Theater in Manhattan and was recently featured at the 18th Annual Natchez Festival of Music in Mississippi. This production will feature original cast members as well as members of the Natchez Festival cast and will be directed by Monica Harte. "With its unique combination of music forms, story and voices it is not hard to understand an audience on their feet applauding at its beautiful conclusion." (Paris Winn, Natchez Democrat)

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