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Gotham Chamber Opera Comes to the Met Museum, 2/26-27

Met Museum Presents and Gotham Chamber Opera presents a double bill co-produced with and staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, consisting of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Monteverdi, and a newly commissioned work, I Have No Stories to Tell You, by Gotham Chamber Opera Composer-In-Residence Lembit Beecher, on February 26 and February 27, 2014 at 7pm at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), NYC.

Tickets, including admission to the museum, are $175, and can be purchased at http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/concerts-and-performances/gotham-opera-1.aspx?eid=4162.

The double bill includes Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, music by Claudio Monteverdi and I Have No Stories To Tell You (World Premiere), music by Gotham's Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher and libretto by Hannah Moscovitch, commissioned by Gotham Chamber Opera for performance. The creative team consists of Neal Goren, conductor and Robin Guarino, stage director, with set design by Andromache Chalfant and costume design by Gabriel Berry. Featured singers will be mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton and baritone Craig Verm. The cast also includes tenor Samuel Levine, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, soprano Sarah Tucker, and mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway.

The performances will be staged in two locations in the Museum: Monteverdi's opera will be performed in the Museum's Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court, and Beecher's new work will be performed in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Instruments from the Met's musical instrument collection will be used in the performances.

Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was published in 1638 in the composer's Eighth Book of Madrigals. This operatic scena tells the story of the Christian soldier Tancredi who battles with a Muslim soldier, unknown to Tancredi as his lover Clorinda because she is disguised in armor. When Clorinda is mortally wounded, Tancredi discovers her identity. As she lies dying, she asks to be baptized. The instrumentation for the scena is string quartet and continuo.

Gotham Chamber Opera composer-in-residence Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch respond to Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by focusing on the aftereffects of war. Their 30-minute opera, I Have No Stories To Tell You, turns from the battlefield to domestic life to tell the story of a soldier's return home after extended assignment in the Middle East. Haunted by her experiences and reluctant to discuss them with a husband who no longer seems to understand her, she struggles to readjust to home. As we see glimpses into her life over the course of a year, we begin to understand the burden of guilt she carries, her inability to communicate it with her husband, and the way in which her husband's need to know will drive their relationship to the brink. Scored for a period instrument ensemble and inspired by interviews with soldiers and army psychologists, I Have No Stories To Tell You explores the effects of war on one's identity and sense of home. The instrumentation for the opera is string quartet, theorbo, harpsichord, Baroque oboe, and electronics. The cast includes Beth Clayton, mezzo-soprano, and Craig Verm, baritone.

Gotham Chamber Opera's 2013/2014 season will conclude with the United States premiere of The Raven by Toshio Hosakawa at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater in May 2014 as part of the New York Philharmonic's inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

Gotham Chamber Opera, now in its twelfth season, is the nation's leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.

Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 (as Henry Street Chamber Opera) with the American premiere of Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, Gotham has produced many more local and world premieres, including such works as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Milhaud's Les Malheurs d'Orphee, Bohuslav Martinu's Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa, Sutermeister's Die schwarze Spinne, Handel's Arianna in Creta, Britten's Albert Herring, and Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino. The company renamed itself Gotham Chamber opera and became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2003.

Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA for the 2005 production of Respighi's La bella dormente nel bosco; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janá?ek and Dvo?ák) in 2008; and the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for 2010's production of Hadyn's Il mondo della luna. That production featured lunar exploration video developed by the Museum and NASA and broadcast on the Hayden Planetarium's 180-degree dome.

Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn's L'isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola's tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella), Christopher Alden (Scipione and Arianna in Creta), and Diane Paulus (Il mondo). In October 2010, Gotham partnered with director Moisés Kaufmann and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, to co-produce the first United States stage performances of Xavier Montsalvatge's El Gato con Botas, at the New Victory Theater.

For the 2011-2012 season, Gotham celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly, and a revival of its first production, Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione. Moving into its second decade in 2013, Gotham presented a sold-out run of Cavalli's Eliogabalo at The Box and two performances of Daniel Catán's La Hija di Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Esplanade. That production then toured to Los Angeles, where it was presented by the Broad Stage at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills. In October 2013, the company presented Baden-Baden 1927, a fully-staged production of the quadruple bill of short chamber operas by Hindemith, Toch, Milhaud, and Weill, premiered at the legendary Baden-Baden Festival of Contemporary Music performance of July 17, 1927.

About Met Museum Presents: A wide-ranging series of performances and talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary issues and innovations through the lens of the Museum's exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces. Met Museum Presents creates a platform for curators, thought-leaders, and artists to come together and explore the Met as a generative force. For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.



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