American Lyric Theater to Present Work by Vavrek and Vrebalov, 2/23
American Lyric Theater (ALT) presents the work of two of its distinguished alumni from the Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP) in concert at The National Opera Center, 330 7th Avenue in New York City, on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 3:00 PM. Librettist Royce Vavrek and Composer Aleksandra Vrebalov were both Resident Artists in the inaugural season of the CLDP in 2007-08. Since that time, both artists have established themselves as unique and compelling voices in the opera field, creating visceral work for stages around the world.
The program will begin with the aria "You speak to me no more," Mother Teresa's aria, written by Vrebalov and Vavrek in 2007 during their participation in the CLDP. This aria was the first opera scene ever written by Vavrek. This will be followed by Nora at the Altar-Rail, a short, one-act opera written by Vavrek at ALT with composer Jay Anthony Gach. Since his residency, Vavrek has become one of the most in-demand librettists in the country, creating works for many companies including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Fort Worth Opera, and Beth Morrison Projects. The concert will continue with arias and scenes written by Vavrek with some of his favorite collaborators, including David T. Little (a scene from Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera), Jeff Myers (scenes from The Hunger Art, and Maren of Vardo), Rachel Peters (a scene from Prairie Dogs), Andrew Gerle (a scene from The Beach), and Missy Mazzoli (scenes from Song from the Uproar and Breaking the Waves - a new opera in development).The program will continue with excerpts from Vrebalov's first full-length opera, Mileva, which received its critically acclaimed premiere in Novi Sad at The Serbian National Theater in 2011. The libretto is written by Serbian playwright, Vida Ognjenovic, and is based on Ognjenovic's play Mileva Einstein. The opera is sung in Serbian, English and German, and explores the fascinating story of Mileva Mari?, Albert Einstein's fellow student who later became his wife. Mileva has been subsequently presented in Szeged, Hungary, and at The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb. The Serbian National Theater will remount the production again this winter. The concert will feature guest artists Cree Carrico (soprano), Jonathan Estabrooks (baritone), Blythe Gaissert (mezzo soprano), Ariadne Greif (soprano), Zachary James (bass), Sidney Outlaw (baritone), Peter Tantsits (tenor), and Amelia Watkins (soprano). Pianist Djordje Nesic serves as music director.