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PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now Festival Begins This Week

Beth Morrison Projects and HERE's fifth annual PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival begins this week, running January 5-15!

Recently singled out as "Essential to the evolution of American opera," (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), the festival opens on Thursdaywith Mata Hari, a world premiere with music by the provocative Matt Marks. This gripping, prismatic tale of the doomed, titular femme fatale will be conducted by wunderkind David Bloom, and runs throughout the festival.

Prototype's other world premiere this season is Secondary Dominance, composer Sarah Small's multimedia tableau vivant-polystylism has never sounded so unabashed and luxuriant, and the show boasts gestural choreography and the projected premiere of Black Sea Hotel's first music video Other highlights are the highly anticipated regional premieres of Breaking the Waves, anatomy theater, and Funeral Doom Spiritual, alongside works-in-progress Silent Voices and Rev. 23.

See the full schedule below:

World Premiere

Composer: Matt Marks
Librettist/Director: Paul Peers

January 5-7 & 11-14, at 7pm, January 8 at 2pm
@ HERE's Mainstage Theatre
Run time: 90 Minutes

"Cheerily seductive ... crafty juxtapositions, clashes and transformations..." -The New York Times

"The instrumental writing burst with color. There is, I think, no fighting this music." -Los Angeles Times

Mata Hari is an exploration of love and survival of the famous femme fatale whose exploits in espionage took her back and forth across WWI Europe and ultimately made her a scapegoat. The piece pushes operatic form with its electro-acoustic instrumentation, mixed vocal styles, manipulated video design, and clever melding of historical materials. Languishing in a Paris prison during the final months of her life, Mata Hari relives her tempestuous relationships with the men who loved and loathed her, and ultimately destroyed her. A Post-Performance conversation will follow the January 11 show.

Cast & Crew
Mata Hari: Tina Mitchell
Sister Léonide: Mary MacKenzie
Cpt. Bouchardon: Jeffrey Gavett
Cpt. Ladoux: Daniel Neer
Rudolf MacLeod/Col. Denvignes: Steve Hrycelak
Vadime/Spirit of Norman: Michael Marcotte
Col. Von Kalle: Joshua Jeremiah

Conductor: David Bloom
Scenic Design: NeAl Wilkinson
Light Design: Lucrecia Briceno
Projection Design: David Palmer
Costume Design: Oana Botez
Sound Engineer: Isaac Jones
Choreography: Anabella Lenzu
Stage Manager: Aislinn Curry

Guitar/Banjo: James Moore
Violin: Helen Yee
Piano/Keyboard: Mila Henry
Accordion: Kamala Sankaram

Mata Hari was commissioned and developed by HERE through the HERE Artist Residency Program. The world premiere is produced for PROTOTYPE by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects. Additional support for Mata Hari was provided by the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional developmental support provided by Baruch Performing Arts Center.

New York Premiere

Composer: Missy Mazzoli
Librettist: Royce Vavrek
Based on the film by Lars Von Trier

January 6, 7, & 9 at 7:30pm
@ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Run time: 150 minutes including intermission

"It is not easy to find new operas that command attention, tell their story lucidly and create a powerful, permeating mood. Dark and daring, Breaking the Waves does all this with sensitivity and style." -The New York Times

"Among the best twenty-first-century American operas." -Opera News

Based on the film by Lars Von Trier, Breaking the Waves tells the story of Bess, a religious young woman deeply in love with her husband Jan. Bess's marital vows are tested when Jan is paralyzed in an offshore oil rig accident. As this psychological drama about sacrificial love unfolds, Bess's unrelenting selflessness escalates towards a devastating finale. A Post-Performance Conversation will follow the January 7 show. Co-presented with NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts - New York University and Trinity Church Wall Street.

Bess McNeill: Kiera Duffy
Jan Nyman: John Moore
Bess's Mother: Teddi Hanslowe
Dodo McNeill: Eve Gigliotti
Terry: Matthew Curran
Dr. Richardson: Dominic Armstrong
Church Councilman and Elder: Marcus DeLoach

Musicians: NOVUS NY and the Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street
Director: James Darrah
Conductor: Julian Wachner
Scenic Designer: Adam Rigg
Lighting Designer: Pablo Santiago
Projection Designer: Adam Larsen
Costume Designer: Chrisi Karvonides

An Opera Philadelphia production, Breaking the Waves was co-commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects. Major support for Breaking the Waves has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the William Penn Foundation. Additional support is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional commissioning support by Allen Freedman and Judith Brick Freedman and Linda and Stuart Nelson.

New York Premiere

Composer: David Lang
Librettists: Mark Dion and David Lang

January 7, 8, & 10-14 at 8pm
@ BRIC Arts | Media | House
Run time: 90 minutes

" entertains even as you know full well that something is very wrong with this picture." -Los Angeles Times

"Gruesome and fascinating" -The Wall Street Journal

Inspired by actual medical texts from the 17th and 18th century, anatomy theater follows the progression of a convicted murderess from her confession to execution, to denouncement, and finally to dissection, including an anatomy lesson for curious onlookers. It is a moral dissection that seeks to discover how the insides of evildoers are different from those of righteous citizens. Written by Pulitzer Prize-Winning composer David Lang and world-renowned visual artist Mark Dion, anatomy theater is a sardonic, tuneful and grisly theatrical event. A Post-Performance Conversation will take place after the January 11 show.

Sarah Osborne: Peabody Southwell
Joshua Crouch: Marc Kudisch
Baron Peel: Robert Osborne
Ambrose Strang: Timur
Musicians: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

Director: Bob McGrath
Conductor: Christopher Rountree
Scenic Designer: Mark Dion
Lighting Designer: Chris Kuhl
Video Designer: Bill Morrison
Projection Designer: Laurie Olinder
Sound Designer: Garth MacAleavey
Costume Designer: Alixandra Gage Englund

A Ridge Theater Production. Developed and Produced by Beth Morrison Projects. Co-presented with BRIC Arts | Media | House. Development support provided by BRIC and MassMoCA. anatomy theater premiered at LA Opera in a Beth Morrison Projects production in June 2016. anatomy theater was co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Ridge Theater, Justus & Helen Schlichting, Linda & Stuart Nelson, Paul King, Marla Mayer & Chris Ahearn. Additional commissioning support provided by BRIC, Nancy & Barry Sanders and Miles & Joni Benickes. anatomy theater is funded, in part, by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts - Art Works, and by public funds from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding was provided by the Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAP), the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and New Music USA.

New York Premiere

Composers: M. Lamar & Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Librettists: M. Lamar & Tucker Culbertson

January 13 & 14 at 7pm & 10pm
@ National Sawdust
Run time: 75 minutes

Funeral Doom Spiritual is a song of mourning for what Anthony Paul Farley calls "the motionless movement of death through slavery, segregation, and neo-segregation." This new monodrama composed by M. Lamar and Hunter Hunt-Hendrix draws on themes of apocalypse, end times, and rapture found in Negro Spirituals, what Lamar calls "Doom Spirituals." It explores radical historical expressions and futuristic longings for destruction of the white supremacist world order. Taking place a century into the future, the piece features the male soprano Lamar on piano, accompanied by two basses, two contrabasses, and electronics, enveloped in immersive light and video. A Post-Performance Conversation will follow the 7pm show on January 14. Co-presented with National Sawdust.

Voice & Piano: M. Lamar
Electronics: Hunter Hunt-Hendrix (not performing)
Strings: The James Ilgenfritz Ensemble
Art Director: Sabin Michael Calvert
Costume Designer: Erik Bergrin

World Premiere

Creator & Composer: Sarah Small

January 6, 7, & 11-14 at 9pm
@ HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre
Run time: 50 Minutes

"There is an energizing newness, a humble and humbling view of humanity that feels authentic. Even poetic." -The Washington Post

Sarah Small, master of sonic moving images, multi-genre artist and creator of The Delirium Constructions, invites you to an evening of highly improbable intimacy exploring the interpersonal quests of diverse personalities. In 13 micro-movements, she synthesizes genres from Balkan folk to contemporary chamber, industrial, renaissance, rock, rap, and punk, while interweaving live and recorded electronics, Chinese sheng, strings, winds, and densely packed vocals. Working in her signature Tableau Vivant form, the music is complemented by gestural choreography and projections, including the world premiere of Black Sea Hotel's first music video. Secondary Dominance is a unique multimedia experience that unfolds as lush living pictures rife with honesty and mistakes, ferocity and hilarity. A Post-Performance conversation will follow the January 11 show.

Producer: Tableau Vivant of The Delirium Constructions
Choreographer: Vanessa Walters
Winds: Peter Hess
Vocals: Black Sea Hotel
Video Designer: Luke Norby
Music Video Director: Josephine Decker


Presented by Brooklyn Youth Chorus
January 14 & 15 at 5pm
@ Florence Gould Hall, FIAF
Show run time: 75 Minutes

Brooklyn Youth Chorus' latest project, Silent Voices, harnesses the power of young people to be instruments of change, giving voice to those who have been silenced or marginalized by social, cultural or religious circumstances. The Chorus has commissioned a diverse group of innovative artists to interpret rich historical narratives and personal stories and create music that explores race and identity, inequity and social disparity-music that matters. Brooklyn Youth Chorus' Founding Artistic Director, Dianne Berkun Menaker, conceived of the project and is co-curating it with director Kristin Marting. This Prototype/FIAF concert will focus on the voices of African-American and immigrant men and women in America today, with commissioned music by Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Shara Nova, Toshi Reagon and DJ Spooky and texts by Hilton Als, Michelle Alexander, Samad Behrangi, and Pauli Murray. Helga Davis hosts. A Post-Performance Conversation will follow the January 14 show. Co-presented with French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).

Producer & Performance: The Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Performers: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Conceiver: Dianne Berkun Menaker
Curators: Dianne Berkun Menaker & Kristin Marting
Music Director and Conductor: Dianne Berkun Menaker
Director: Kristin Marting
Featured Composers: Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Shara Nova, Toshi Reagon, and DJ Spooky
Writer: Hilton Als
Additional Writers: Michelle Alexander, Samad Behrangi, Pauli Murray
Scenic & Video Designer: Peter Nigrini
Lighting Designer: Jeanette Yew
Costume Designer: Kate Fry
Host: Helga Davis
Executive Producer: Elise Bernhardt
Producer: Nunally Kersh
Production Manager: RoBert Henderson

Silent Voices is a co-commission of Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, and WQXR, New York. A year-long series of performances, Silent Voices culminates in a world premiere in May 2017, the centerpiece of the group's 25th anniversary. Brooklyn Youth Chorus presents Silent Voices in conjunction with its year-long artist residency with WQXR/WNYC.

Silent Voices is generously supported by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music; the Amphion Foundation; Charles J. and Irene F. Hamm; Howard Gilman Foundation; the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; New Music USA; The BMI Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Special thanks to Marcus Wainwright and rag & bone for supporting the project by dressing the Chorus.

REV. 23
Work-in-Progress (NOT FOR REVIEW)

Composer: Julian Wachner
Librettist: Cerise Lim Jacobs

January 14 at 3pm
@ National Sawdust
Run time: 90 Minutes

"[Cerise Lim] Jacobs writes rich and resonant sententiae. There is indeed a mythic power to her sensibility, covert beneath the level of the literal." -La Scena Musicale

"Bold and imaginative flair for allusive text setting...silken complexities of his harmonies." - The New York Times

The Book of Revelation ends at chapter 22. Or does it? Rev. 23 is the hitherto unpublished last chapter of the Book of Revelation as dictated by St. John the Divine and transcribed by Cerise Lim Jacobs. It narrates the last battle to recapture Paradise-on-Earth and restore the balance of good and evil to our world. Persephone, the only being able to pass freely between Hell and Earth, is recruited by Lucifer in the fight against he rulers of Paradise-on-Earth. No one is exempt from this battle. Which side are you on? Co-presented by National Sawdust and Trinity Church Wall Street.

Members of the Choir of Trinity Church Wall Street
Musicians: Novus NY
Director: Mark Streshinsky
Dramaturg: Cori Ellison
Executive Producer: Friends of Madame White Snake
Creative Producer: Beth Morrison Projects. Produced by Trinity Church Wall Street.

Commissioned by Friends of Madame White Snake.

"New York's most dependably interesting source of new music theater...This vibrant festival becomes more central to the future of opera with every passing year." - The New York Times

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now launched in January 2013, unleashing a powerful wave of opera- and music-theatre from a new generation of composers and librettists. Across its first four seasons, PROTOTYPE produced and presented a total of 130 performances of 23 presentations, shared the work of more than 400 local, national, and International Artists, exposed visionary work to more than 15,000 people, and filled 22 stages across multiple boroughs of New York City. Now in its fifth season, Prototype, as Opera News proclaimed, "has become a major leader in opera theatre for the twenty-first century."

Founded, produced, and directed by Kristin Marting (of HERE), Beth Morrison (of Beth Morrison Projects), and Kim Whitener (of HERE), PROTOTYPE supports and spotlights a diverse range of culturally and socially engaged work from intrepid creators across ethnicity and gender. Half of PROTOTYPE's lead artists to date have been women, and the Festival has presented work from Belgian, Chinese, Dutch, Egyptian-American, Indian-American, Irish, Kazakh, Korean-American, Lithuanian, Mexican, Russian, and Slovenian lead artists.

Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) identifies and supports the work of emerging and established composers, taking the form of opera-theatre, music-theatre, multi-media concert works, and new forms waiting to be discovered. Founded in 2006 to support the work of these composers and their multi-media collaborators, Beth Morrison Projects encourages risk-taking, creating a structure for new work that is unique to the artist and allows them to feel safe to experiment and push boundaries.

Noted as "the edge of innovation (Opera News)," Beth Morrison Projects "is a contemporary opera mastermind (Los Angeles Times)" and "it's own genre. (Opera News)." Projects have been performed in numerous premier venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Disney Hall, The Barbican, Lincoln Center, The Walker Art Center, The Beijing Music Festival, The Holland Festival, and more.
Current and upcoming projects include works by composers Todd Almond, TEd Hearne, David Lang, David T. Little, Zhou Long, Matt Marks, Paola Prestini, Ellen Reid, Kamala Sankaram, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Scott Wheeler and more, with directors Michael Counts, Julian Crouch, James Darrah, Rachel Dickstein, Daniel Fish, Bob McGrath, Kevin Newbury, and Paul Peers. Projects have been performed in numerous premier venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy Of Music, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, The Walker Art Center, The Beijing Music Festival, The Holland Festival, and more.

BMP is generously funded by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Amphion Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Charles & Cerise Jacobs Charitable Trust, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Emma A. Sheafer Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Jana Foundation, The Howard & Sarah Solomon Foundation, MAP Fund/Creative Capital, The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, New York State Council on the Arts, Opera America, the Puffin Foundation, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Since 1993, HERE has been one of New York's most prolific producing and presenting organizations, and today stands at the forefront of the city's presenters of new hybrid art. HERE supports multidisciplinary work that does not fit into a conventional programming agenda. HERE's aesthetic represents the independent, the innovative, and the experimental. HERE has developed such acclaimed works as Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues; Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique; Young Jean Lee's Songs of The Dragons Flying To Heaven; Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers; and Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge. As the ultimate in hybrid forms, music-theater and opera-theater premieres developed and produced at HERE include Kamala Sankaram's first opera Miranda, Yoav Gal's Mosheh, Christina Campanella and Stephanie Fleischman's Red Fly/Blue Bottle, and Nick Brooke's Border Towns. HERE has garnered 16 OBIE awards, 2 OBIE grants for artistic achievement, the 2015 Ellen Stewart Award from New York Innovative Theatre Awards, a 2006 Edwin Booth Award ("for Outstanding Contribution to NY Theatre") from the CUNY Graduate Center, five Drama Desk nominations, two Berrilla Kerr Awards, four NY Innovative Theatre Awards and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. The New York Times has called HERE "one of the most unusual arts spaces in New York and possibly the model for the cutting-edge arts spaces of tomorrow."

Kristin Marting is HERE's Co-Founder and Artistic Director and a director of hybrid work based in NYC. As Artistic Director of HERE, she cultivates artists and programs all events for two performance spaces for an annual audience of 30,000. She co-created and co-curates HARP, HERE's Artist Residency Program. She has constructed 28 works for the stage (9 original hybrid works, 5 opera-theatre and music-theatre works, 9 adaptations of novels & short stories and 5 classic plays) and is currently developing Assembled Identity at HERE and Silent Voices with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (featured in Prototype 2017). Other recent projects include IDIOT with Robert Lyons; Bombay Rickey, an opera cabaret on Yma Sumac in Prototype 2016; Trade Practices, an immersive theatrical experience where the audience determines the value of various different plays; Lush Valley, an immersive work on citizenship and civic responsibility, and James Scruggs's solo eight channel video work Disposable Men. She also directed Sounding and Dead Tech (collaborative works adapted from Ibsen), both of which received prestigious MAP Fund awards. She was recently named a Person of the Decade for outstanding contribution, a Leader to Watch by Art Table and honored with a BAX10 Award.

Kim Whitener is HERE's Producing Director, co-curating and co-producing all of HERE's activities. Since early 2007 under her leadership, HERE's programming has grown exponentially, and several major initiatives have launched, including the PROTOTYPE festival and MADE HERE, an online video documentary series about New York performing artists. From 2001 until 2007, Ms. Whitener was an independent producer with her own company, KiWi Productions, working with a diverse range of US artists, both companies and individuals, in the contemporary theater, music-theater, dance-theater, and multi-media worlds to develop and produce new projects, working with co-producers worldwide. Her clients have included The Builders Association, Martha Clarke, Big Dance Theater, and 33 Fainting Spells, among others. Ms. Whitener was consulting producer on Logic of the Birds, artist Shirin Neshat's live performance featuring singer Sussan Deyhim (Lincoln Center Festival, Walker Art Center, Artangel London) in 2001. She also was co-producer of Zero Church, a multi-artist concert/performance event by Suzzy and Maggie Roche, at St. Ann's Warehouse in April 2002. Previously she was Managing Director of the ensemble theater company The Wooster Group, and worked with both the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia and the Boston Music Theatre Project at Suffolk University in Boston.

BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City, devoted to presenting fresh work by artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity that surrounds us. BRIC House offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces. Some of BRIC's most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, the newly-renamed BRIC TV, and a renowned contemporary art exhibition series.

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York's premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.

The non-profit National Sawdust is a dynamic home for artists and new music of all kinds; a place for exploration and discovery-where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike. In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust is a singular space that provides composers and musicians across genres with a setting in which they can flourish, and where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create and share their work.

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by Executive Director Michael Harrington, the NYU Skirball mission is to showcase and support diverse and eclectic talent from around the world, while cultivating audiences for live performance through deeper engagement opportunities.

PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now receives leadership funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional generous support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters Cultural Exchange Program, The Augustine Foundation, BMI Foundation, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Fresh Sound Foundation, Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, OPERA America's New Works Exploration Grant, The Reed Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation, and The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. PROTOTYPE receives generous corporate support from Edison Properties.

Every January in New York City, more than 45,000 industry professionals and enthusiasts come together to experience the most comprehensive celebration of the performing arts around the globe. Spotlighting the best and newest in theater, dance, opera and music with more than 1,500 world-class showcases, concerts and public programs, as well as conferences, professional development, keynote speakers, and networking, this partnership of leading public festivals and industry events demonstrates how rich, vibrant, vast and diverse the performing arts are.

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