Opera Grows In Brooklyn Returns To Galapagos Art Center 7/17

AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS (AOP), "known for bringing cutting-edge vocal production to the masses," (New York) and OPERA ON TAP ("...raucous and sublime...un-elitist, imperfect, and fun..."- NY Sun) will present the second installment of its Opera Grows in Brooklyn series, an evening of all new opera scenes and songs from contemporary composers, including new music from David T. Little, a new song-cycle based on the poetry of three Brooklyn schoolgirls ages 9-12 by composer Gilda Lyons, and the NYC premiere of Stefan Weisman's opera Fade.

The show will be held on Friday, July 17 at 8pm at the Galapagos Art Center's new home in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students/seniors). Opera Grows in Brooklyn at Galapagos in April 2009 represented the first time that opera took the stage in the institution's 11-year history and was called "an exciting new level of work for these young companies. Brooklyn and the rest of the city will benefit from future collaborations like these." (The Curator). Tickets and details on the performances will be available through www.galapagosartspace.com.

A 30-minute selection of music from composer David T. Little will feature baritone David Adam Moore performing excerpts from Soldier Songs (2006), "a dramatic, theatrical solo cantata that builds to a heartrending climax" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), tracing the shift in one man's perception of war, from the age of six to the age of sixty-six. Mr. Moore, who originated the title role in the 2008 Beth Morrison Projects production and is recently back from performing at La Scala, will join soprani Lauren Worsham (Cunegonda in NYCOs 2008 Candide) and Mellissa Hughes with clarinetist Eileen Mack of Newspeak and cellist Jody Redhage for a set including the premiere of a new aria from the opera (in-progress) Dog Days, described as "melodic and shapely" (The New York Times) during its May 2009 presentation of scenes at Carnegie Hall. Based on a short story by Judy Budnitz with a libretto by Royce Vavrek, Dog Days investigates the psychology of a working class American family pitted against a not-so-distant-future wartime scenario. Mr. Little will also present a new chamber version of sweet light crude (2007), originally composed for his ensemble Newspeak.

Fade, a one-act opera from composer Stefan Weisman (AOP's Darkling, 2006) and librettist David Cote, will have its New York City premiere after runs in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and London where the music was described as "lyrical in a Philip-Glass-meets-John Adams vein" (Bloomberg News) and "very melodic, and... very approachable" (BBC Radio). The 25-minute opera follows the straining relationship of a young couple (baritone Jonathan Hays and soprano Amy Van Roekel)as they move into a new state-of-the-art house that is less hospitable than they imagined. The opera will be conducted by Stephen Black, with piano by Jody Schum and will also feature mezzo-soprano Pamela Stein. The work was first developed by AOP in a 2008 libretto workshop.

The evening will also feature Songs from the F Train, by composer Gilda Lyons, a setting of poems by Brooklyn schoolgirls Samori Covington (age 9), Alexis Cummings, and Najaya Royal (both age 12) that were written recently in a poetry workshop led by Brooklyn writer Angeli Rasbury. The song cycle will be performed by mezzo-soprano Nicole Mitchell (Lee Hoiby's This Is the Rill Speaking) who premiered the piece in June at the Make Music NY festival in Fort Greene Park with the three girls in attendance. Songs from the F Train is a co-commission from AOP, Fort Greene Park Conservancy and The Walt Whitman Project.

Opera on Tap showcases its new contemporary ensemble New Brew in "The Witches of Bushwick (and other parts of NY)," an eclectic program of music from a selection of contemporary New York female composers. Incorporating Opera on Tap's casual trademark-style of bringing opera to new audiences, New Brew, be-costumed and stylized with an accent on the bawdy, presents a casserole of music by some of New York's greatest creatively-minded women. Performers will include Anne Ricci, Amberleigh Aller, CameRon Russell, Krista Wozniak, and Chris Berg. There will be broomsticks and, yes, there will be witchcraft. As a nonprofit organization, Opera on Tap's mission is to bring opera to new audiences by performing in bars, rock concert halls, and other alternative spaces. Born in the backroom of a Brooklyn divebar in 2005, Opera on Tap has gained national press recognition, several performance residencies across the city, and regional chapters in New Orleans, Chicago and Bloomington, IN.

For over 20 years, American Opera Projects (AOP) has been creating, developing and presenting exclusively new American opera and music Theatre Projects that have appeared at the Royal Opera House, London, the Lincoln Center Festival, Skirball Center at NYU, the Guggenheim Museum, Symphony Space, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and many other national and international venues. AOP, based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has presented over 15 world premiere operas including Lee Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking (2008), Stefan Weisman's Darkling (2006), and Paula Kimper's Patience & Sarah (1998). Upcoming world premieres of AOP-developed projects include Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the first opera by Stephen Schwartz, at Opera Santa Barbara in 2009 and Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera in 2010.

Company info:
American Opera Projects: www.operaprojects.org
Opera on Tap: www.operaontap.com


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