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Fresh Squeezed Opera Announces 2021-22 Season


Fresh Squeezed Opera Announces 2021-22 Season

Emerging from the Pandemic, Fresh Squeezed Opera presents a season of brilliant resilience: filled with messages of perseverance, hope, and self-discovery, offering audiences inspiration and hope.

All performances will be indoors and will require proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks. Performers and crew members will likewise be required to show proof of vaccination.

An Antidote to Failure

6th Annual Showcase of New Vocal Chamber Music

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 7:30 PM

The Cell Theater, 338 W 23rd Street, New York, NY

FSO's annual Showcase, now in its sixth year, is a diverse offering of what new vocal music has to offer. Ranging from tonal to atonal, from acoustic to electronic, from libretto-driven to sound-driven, the Showcase gives composers an opportunity to have their works performed by emerging artists of the highest caliber, and for artists to perform new and exciting vocal works and collaborate in a small chamber ensemble.

The theme of this year's Showcase is "an antidote to failure" -- exploring what makes people resilient in the face of great challenges.

Every year, Fresh Squeezed Opera commissions a piece from a boundary pushing composer. This year, Fresh Squeezed has selected Molly Joyce, and will present the world premiere of her new piece, which focuses on the thin line between joy and doubt.

The other pieces in the showcase have been selected from a call for scores that yielded over 100 submissions. They include the world premiere of Willed Capital, by Kangyi Zhang, based on poems that express the detriments of unfettered consumption while leaning towards what's human, therefore sustainable. The world premiere of Two Songs, by Mamed Sadykh-Pur, combining two distinct texts that deal with how to overcome failures - to be active and fuss or try to calmly contemplate the situation? Climbing High, by Minato Sakamoto (NY Premiere), this piece is composed of three songs on the same ancient Chinese poem in three languages. Harlem (A Dream Deferred) by Brian Mark which is based on the poem of Langston Hughes, explores a nostalgia for the "old world" of New York City, when life was more grittier, creative, vibrant, communal, and at times angry from a sense of yearning for freedom of spirit.

The Showcase will conclude with a reception with performers, composers, and audience members.

Self Defined Circuits

A fully staged chamber opera

Music by Jillian Flexner, Words by Orlando Segarra

Stage Direction by Michael Hofmann, Music Direction by Whitney George

May 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2022 at 7:30 PM

HERE Performing Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue, New York, NY

Fresh Squeezed Opera is delighted to present the world premiere of Self Defined Circuits, a new chamber opera by Jillian Flexner and Orlando Segarra. Newly created, a sex robot, tries to find out what it means to be a woman while trapped in a world created by her programmer, Pete, and his "Siri" device, Cora. Inspired in part by the "Me Too" movement, the composer's own experiences in an abusive relationship during her formative years, and the works of Sci-Fi pioneers Isaac Asimov and Ursula Le Guin, this opera explores the idea of "womanhood" and self-identity through the lens of someone new to the world, and desperate to find where she fits.

With a marriage of electronic and acoustic music, the audience is immediately immersed in Gal's world, naive and without any preconceptions. As the show continues, the music and production become claustrophobic, and there arises a need for both the audience and Gal to escape. Cora, a Siri-like bodiless program, performed by two vocalists simultaneously integrated with live-processed electronics, will have audiences experiencing the uncanny valley, as she acts human but insists she is not. The audience will walk away with a deeper understanding of what identity is, and how important self-identifying and nuance can be, especially when one has been molded to a specific form.

The creative team includes: Michael Hofmann, Stage Director; Whitney George, Music Director; Victoria Benson, Production Manager; Chelsea Feltman, Fembot; Shane Brown, Pete; Cara Search and Elyse Kakacek, Cora; Sara Lin Yoder and Stephanie Feigenbaum, Chorus leaders. Corina Chase, Costume Design; Jenn Burkhardt, Lighting Design; Matthew Wasser, Video Design; Attilio Rigotti and Orsolya Szánthó, Scenic Design.

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