A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Plays Vertical Player Repertory Theatre 10/22-11/1

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: - William Bolcom's tragic opera about Red Hook longshoremen finds its Brooklyn voice with Vertical Player Repertory. World premiere of a two piano arrangement developed in collaboration with the composer.

Vertical Player Repertory Theatre, 219 Court St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn NY 11201. Between Wyckoff St. & Warren St. Nearest subway: F to Bergen St.

Thursday October 22 at 8 PM; Saturday October 24 at 3 PM; Sunday October 25 at 4 PM; Thursday October 29 at 8 PM; Friday October 30 at 8 pm; Sunday November 1 at 4 PM (composer attending; reception following).

Directed by Michael Unger (La Rondine, L'amico Fritz, Die Fledermaus-Sarasota Opera Company; world premiere of 25th Annual Putnam Valley Spelling Bee; upcoming A Christmas Carol-McCarter Theatre)

Featuring: Glenn Seven Allen (The Light in the Piazza-Lincoln Center Theater; Romeo et Juliette-New York Lyric Opera; upcoming Girl Crazy-City Center Encores), Judith Barnes (Vertical Player Repertory Artistic Director), Will Browning (Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia opposite Joyce DiDonato, Valentin in Faust with Samuel Ramey-Wichita Grand Opera; the Four Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann-Vertical Player Repertory), Branch Fields (South Pacific-Lincoln Center Theater; Angelotti in Tosca, Major Domo in Vanessa, Zuniga in Carmen-New York City Opera), Valentina Fleer (The Consul, I Capuleti e i Montecchi-Glimmerglass Opera; Mark Morris production of L'Isola Disabitata-Gotham Chamber Opera), Sam Smith (title role in Don Pasquale-Anchorage Opera; View from the Bridge-Lyric Opera of Chicago; upcoming, title role Gianni Schicchi-Boheme Opera).

Conducted by Peter Szep (Il Tabarro, Les Contes d'Hoffmann-Vertical Player Repertory; Diamond Street with Harold Farberman-Hudson Opera House). Associate music director: Ian Garvie (Les Contes d'Hoffmann-Vertical Player Repertory). Pianists: Audrey Saint-Gil (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; Konzerthaus, Vienna; Carnegie Hall; Metropolitan Opera) and Lloyd Paguia Arriola (Opera Avanti Music Director; Sarasota Opera Company; Austin Lyric Opera)

$50 November 1st benefit performance followed by a champagne reception with the composer. $35 all other performance dates
Available at Brownpapertickets.com (800) 838-3006 More info at VPROpera.org

A great Brooklyn tragedy finds voice close to home this October with Vertical Player Repertory (VPR) in a new production of "A View from the Bridge," an opera by William Bolcom, written in 1999 in collaboration with playwright Arthur Miller and librettist Arnold Weinstein.

The New York Times wrote, "Vertical Player Repertory has developed a following for its intense performances of unusual works." Following the recent success of two works performed outdoors at the Red Hook Marine Terminal on the Brooklyn waterfront -- "The Tales of Hoffmann" (2008) and "Il Tabarro" (2007) -- VPR returns to its intimate theater to present a fully staged production of "A View from the Bridge," a dark and emotionally-charged homage to life on those same Brooklyn industrial docks. "It has been my dream to produce A View from the Bridge ever since I first co-produced an opera with the longshoremen at the Red Hook Marine Terminal," says VPR artistic director Judith Barnes. "The men who work on the waterfront were the inspiration for this project."

"A View from the Bridge" is adapted closely from the iconic Arthur Miller play. "This unique American opera is structured like a Greek tragedy with a large chorus and a central character, Eddie Carbone, whose tragic flaw and demise are obvious to all but himself," says director Michael Unger. The opera reveals enduring contemporary themes. "View speaks with glaring honesty and compassion about the struggles of illegal immigrants and survival in a very difficult economy," Unger continues.

The cast includes Will Browning as Eddie, Judith Barnes as Beatrice, Glenn Seven Allen as Rodolpho, Branch Fields as Marco, Valentina Fleer as Catherine and Sam Smith as Alfieri.

The first act of "View" was previewed by VPR on October 3, at Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturday. The production features a newly adapted version of the score for two pianos, developed in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom, who will attend the premiere of his work. In Mr. Bolcom's own words, "It's important for the life of the work that it be performed in a small production, and that's what Vertical Player Repertory is bravely doing. I'm curious myself to see how it works in an intimate venue." Peter Szep, music director adds, "To have a composer of Bolcom's stature as a collaborator at our rehearsals is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Vertical Player Repertory looks forward to a new production of "View" in fall 2010, when Judith Barnes plans to bring the opera back to its birthplace on the Red Hook docks in an outdoor production with orchestra. "Producing View in a black-box gives me an intimate understanding of the structure and pacing of the opera in order to more successfully produce it on a large scale next year."

Vertical Player Repertory has become a vital part of Brooklyn's cultural life over the last ten years, operating from its home base in Cobble Hill, with productions of challenging repertoire including Darius Milhaud's "Médée," Janacek's "Jenufa," the world premiere of Yoav Gal's "The Dwarf," and, earlier this year, an original version of "Der Rosenkavalier"-with-a-twist.


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