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A.R.T. Announces Inaugural 'Run AMOC!' Festival

A.R.T. Announces Inaugural 'Run AMOC!' Festival

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, announces that it will present the inaugural Run AMOC! Festival, performed by the new American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) December 15 - 18, 2017.

The festival features a collaboration between an internationally acclaimed dancer and award-winning violinist; duets staged as duels between three pairs of performers; and a musical meditation on the lives of black men and women lost as a result of police brutality over the past year. These newly developed pieces by AMOC artists will be performed at venues around Harvard Square in Cambridge.

AMOC is a brand-new opera company-comprised of a diverse collective of singers, dancers, instrumentalists, a director, and a composer-that aims to expand the definition and reach of opera in our world through collaborative, interdisciplinary work. Composer/conductor/pianist/poet Matthew Aucoin (Crossing, Harvard '12), and director/choreographer/dancer Zack Winokur serve as Artistic Directors; Jennifer Chen (Harvard '11) is the new company's Managing Director. The three leaders all hail from Greater Boston.

Tickets to all performances of the Run AMOC! Festival start at $25 and go on sale on Wednesday, November 15 by phone at 617.547.8300, in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services Office (64 Brattle Street, Harvard Square), or online at Discounts are available for A.R.T. Subscribers and Donors, students, seniors, Blue Star Families, EBT card holders, and others. Discounts are available when purchasing tickets to multiple festival events.

"We're thrilled to give A.R.T. audiences the opportunity to get to know AMOC just as this exciting new collective bursts onto the scene," says A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus. "We've experienced the passion and virtuosity of many of these visionary artists firsthand, and I have no doubt that they will redefine opera through their new model of interdisciplinary collaboration."

"A.R.T.'s fabulous creative team and I have already shared the epic journey of bringing an opera from conception to production so it feels natural for my newest endeavor to make its public debut at the A.R.T.," says AMOC Artistic Director Matthew Aucoin. "Our company of young, pioneering artists wants to change the way opera is produced and to expand the art form's definition and reach. By supporting our launch, A.R.T. continues its great tradition of nurturing new talent and giving it a platform upon which to run amok (or AMOC)."

The line-up includes:


Conceived by Bobbi Jene Smith

Featuring Bobbi Jene Smith and Keir GoGwilt

Friday, December 15 at 7:30PM and Sunday, December 17 at 3PM

Harvard Dance Center (66 Garden Street, Cambridge)

A Study on Effort explores connections between sound, body, and duration. An hour-long dialogue between dancer Bobbi Jene Smith (formerly of Tel Aviv's Batsheva Dance Company and subject of Bobbi Jene, the Tribeca Film Festival's 2017 award winner for Best Documentary) and violinist Keir GoGwilt (soloist with the Chinese National Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago, and others; Harvard '13), the piece transposes different physical and emotional tasks between music and movement, finding pleasure at the boundaries of the two artistic disciplines.

A Study on Effort was originally conceived by Bobbi Jene Smith in 2014 and has since had showings at Studio Varda, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Gibney Dance, and the Israel Museum. In 2016, Smith and GoGwilt collaborated on a new version of the show, which was presented at the 2016 Luminato Festival in Toronto and PS 122's COIL Festival in 2017. Please note: this performance contains nudity and is suitable for audiences 18+.


Saturday, December 16 at 7PM

OBERON (2 Arrow Street, Cambridge)

Pairs of AMOC artists from various disciplines face off against one another in three rounds of virtuosity.

ROUND 1: Miranda Cuckson ("one of the most sensitive and electric interpreters of new music," Downbeat) and Keir GoGwilt (Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts, Harvard '13) in a spectacle of violin duets by Georg Friedrich Telemann, Franco Donati, and Christian Wolff

ROUND 2: Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (winner of Plácido Domingo's international competition Operalia in 2012) and dancer Zack Winokur (creator of La Calisto, "one of the most elegant and imaginative shows seen in New York [last] season," Opera News) in Claudio Monteverdi's Poppea

ROUND 3: Pianists Matthew Aucoin (Crossing, Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Opera, Harvard '12) and Conor Hanick (a pianist that "defies human description," Concerto Net; "a true champion of contemporary music," NPR) in two pieces for two pianos: John Adams' classic Hallelujah Junction, and Aucoin's recent piece, Finery Forge


Directed by Zack Winokur

Featuring Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter

Monday, December 18 at 8PM

Loeb Drama Center (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge)

Were You There is a musical mediation about moving from darkness to light and finding spiritual communion in an abstract memorial to the past year's victims of police brutality. Bass-baritone Davóne Tines (Crossing, Harvard '09), accompanied by guest pianist Michael Schachter (Harvard '09), performs a set of songs ranging from Spirituals to a new piece composed by Matthew Aucoin (Crossing, Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Opera, Harvard '12). Schachter, Tines, and Winokur are currently developing a new music-theater piece with A.R.T. inspired by Langston Hughes' poem, "The Black Clown."

The American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) is the artistic home for the most diverse and vibrant singers, dancers, and instrumentalists of our generation. AMOC acts as the incubator and executor for our seventeen core members' most ambitious, innovative projects. Our commitment is to working as an ensemble to reimagine the experience of opera-from conception to performance.

FORGING A TRUE REPERTORY COMPANY: AMOC's members are committed to building deep working relationships across years of collaboration in the pursuit of generating a body of new works. Our core members are singers, instrumentalists, dancers, a composer, and a director, all of whom drive the generation of projects and curation of collaborations within the company and beyond.

EXPANDING THE FIELD: We define opera as the medium in which multiple art forms collide and transform each other. AMOC projects take the form of collaborations between its core members and will range from recognizably "operatic" evening-length stage works, to chamber operas written for the company, to intimate duets between, for example, a dancer and an instrumentalist. We are guided by a belief that the field of opera has a better chance of realizing its implicit ideal-a union of the human senses-if a group of artists from multiple disciplines work together intimately. AMOC's artists build bridges across our many disciplines, and we create new work out of that collaboration.

MAKING NEW WORK: One of AMOC's central goals is to build our own repertory, our own body of discipline-colliding work. Taking the form of our "Run AMOC!" festivals at partner institutions as well as one-off performances, these new works will sometimes feature brand-new music-for example, the cantatas Matthew Aucoin will compose for AMOC's singers and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, with staging by Zack Winokur - and sometimes they will take pre-existing music into a brand-new context, as in Bobbi Jene Smith and Keir GoGwilt's use of Bach and Westhoff in A Study on Effort. Learn more at

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. The A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under the leadership of Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, the A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences.

Throughout its history, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including the Tony Award for Best New Play for All the Way (2014); consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (2012), both of which Paulus directed; a Pulitzer Prize; a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards.

The A.R.T. collaborates with artists around the world to develop and create work in new ways. It is currently engaged in a number of multi-year projects, including a new collaboration with Harvard's Center for the Environment that will result in the development of new work over several years. Under Paulus's leadership, the A.R.T.'s club theater, OBERON, has been an incubator for local and emerging artists and has attracted national attention for its innovative programming and business models.

As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, the A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. A.R.T. plays a central role in Harvard's newly launched undergraduate Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, teaching courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy. The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, run in association with the Moscow Art Theatre School and the Harvard Extension School, offers graduate training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice.

Dedicated to making great theater accessible, the A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area.

Through all of these initiatives, the A.R.T. is dedicated to producing world-class performances in which the audience is central to the theatrical experience.

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