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American Lyric Theater to Present THE OPPOSABLE THUMB


All audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to attend.

American Lyric Theater to Present THE OPPOSABLE THUMB

American Lyric Theater has announced its return to live performances with a workshop performance of The Opposable Thumb by composer Jorge Sosa and librettist Julian Crouch. The performance, part of the company's popular InsightALT series, will take place on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 7pm at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W. 37th Street in Manhattan. All audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to attend, and will also be required to complete a health-screening prior to entry and to wear a mask during the performance.

American Lyric Theater's past InsightALT programming has provided New York City audiences with advance previews of critically acclaimed operas including JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, and The Long Walk by Jeremy Howard Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann, among others. The company's last public performances prior to the pandemic were sold-out InsightALT concerts of two family oriented operas, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Giant by Evan Meier and E.M. Lewis, and The Halloween Tree by Theo Popov and Tony Asaro.

The Opposable Thumb was commissioned by American Lyric Theater under the auspices of the company's nationally acclaimed Composer Librettist Development Program. Based on various true accounts of the last two hundred years, this fascinating work questions whether mankind is superior to the animals that are contained behind the bars of a zoo's cages, or just another ape with an opposable thumb, and a trigger pulling finger. "The opera takes place in a zoo inside a city under siege," explains composer Jorge Sosa. "It explores the relationships between a series of broken characters who are forced into a high risk, high-tension situation. Soldiers from opposite sides are trapped with innocent zoo keepers as they await the invading army's last offensive. Food is completely gone and if war does not kill them, hunger surely will.

We learn about their stories of survival and how war, violence and conflict have upended their lives. Parallel to these human characters, we have a chorus of animals who have escaped from the zoo. The animals provide us with their own perspective of what it feels like to be trapped in a cage, hunted, and persecuted. Through the opera, the human characters search deep inside to find and develop empathy for the 'other' and regain a sense of basic humanity."

The concert of The Opposable Thumb is the culmination of a ten-day developmental workshop and will feature Flora Wall, Heather Johnson, John Viscardi, Christian Sanders, Zachary James, Sydney Anderson, Laura Soto-Bayomi, Heather Hill, Chantal Freeman, Kimberly Sogioka, and Kirsten Sollek. The concert will be conducted by David Neely, with pianist Jason Wirth. After the performance, there will be an open discussion exploring the creative process with the composers and librettists, moderated by ALT's founder Lawrence Edelson.

Tickets for InsightALT: The Opposable Thumb are available for $25. For further information, or to purchase tickets, please visit

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