Gotham Chamber Opera Presents IL SOGNO DI SCIPIONE, Opens April 11
Gotham Chamber Opera continues its 10th-anniversary celebration with a revival of Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione, which announced the company's arrival on the New York cultural scene ten years ago. The original creative team will be reunited for the production, which opens at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College on April 11, 2012 and runs through April 21, 2012. Performances: Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30pm (Opening Night); Friday, April 13 at 8pm; Sunday, April 15 at 8pm; Tuesday, April 17 at 8pm; Thursday, April 19 at 8pm; and Saturday, April 21 at 8pm. Tickets are $30-$125 and are available online at www.ticketcentral.com or by phone at 212-279-4200.
About Gotham Chamber Opera: "Ten years ago, Gotham Chamber Opera burst onto New York's opera scene with Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione (Scipio's Dream). To commemorate the anniversary of that debut production, Gotham Chamber Opera will revive Il sogno di Scipione in April 2012, reuniting its original creative team of director Christopher Alden, scenic designer Andrew Cavanaugh Holland, costume designer Fabio Toblini, and lighting designer Allen Hahn. The production will be conducted by Gotham Chamber Opera's Founding Artistic Director Neal Goren. The cast will include Michele Angelini, Marie-Ève Munger, Susannah Biller, Rachel Willis-Sørenson, Arthur Espiritu, and Chad A. Johnson."
The highly-virtuosic one-act opera tells the story of the Roman Emperor Scipio Africanus, who, in a dream, awakens to find two goddesses before him: Fortune and Constancy. He must choose one or the other to guide him through life. Dazed by their enticements and threats, Scipio calls up his dead forebears for guidance in making this important and dangerous choice.
"It is always fascinating for me to re-stage a production years after I first created it - the piece, the world, myself - all feel so different!" said Christopher Alden when asked about this revival of Il sogno di Scipione. "In the case of Sogno, a whole decade of life experiences will certainly cast a new light on the 15-year-old Mozart's dream play, and a New Group of dynamic young singers will undoubtedly push the allegorical-but-sexy characters in new directions. But, hopefully, the youthful genius of Mozart's music, breathing miraculous life into Metastasio's hoary opera seria libretto, will again work its magic as it did a decade ago when it inaugurated the marvelous Gotham Chamber Opera. Back then, Neal Goren and I were very pleasantly surprised to find that we had such an audience-friendly hit on our hands. Ten years on, a little older and probably not much wiser, let's see if we can do the impossible and make lightning strike twice!"
Gotham Chamber Opera opened the anniversary season with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, an opera by composer Nico Muhly and librettist Stephen Karam commissioned for the occasion. A co-commission and co-production of Gotham Chamber Opera, Music-Theatre Group, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Dark Sisters premiered at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in November 2011 and was met with great critical acclaim.
Gotham Chamber Opera - "where opera gets intimate" - is known for its cutting-edge productions of works intended for smaller venues. Haydn's Il mondo della luna, presented in January 2010 at the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History, received worldwide attention for its celestial light show and use of laser technology. Other recent Gotham productions have been helmed by such celebrated directors as Moisés Kaufman, Mark Morris, Diane Paulus, Karole Armitage, and David Parsons.<
Gotham Chamber Opera is the nation's foremost opera company dedicated to producing rarely-performed chamber operas from the Baroque era to the present. The company's mission is to present innovative, fully-staged productions of the highest quality in intimate venues. Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren in 2000, Gotham Chamber Opera has, in its short history,presented seven U.S. premieres of 18th- and 20th-century operas, including such masterpieces as Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione; Darius Milhaud's Les Malheurs d'Orphée; Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's Dada opera Les Larmes du Couteau; and Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister's Die schwarze Spinne. In February 2005, Gotham presented the U.S. stage premiere of Handel's Arianna in Creta. Also in 2005, Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto Festival USA presented Gotham Chamber Opera's U.S. premiere of Ottorino Respighi's fantastical puppet opera La bella dormente nel bosco, featuring the puppetry of Basil Twist. In the spring of 2006, Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring received its first professional staging in New York in more than 30 years, and in winter 2007, Rossini's Il signor Bruschino received its first major professional New York staging in more than half a century. In the 2007/2008 season, Gotham Chamber Opera celebrated dance with Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, María de Buenos Aires, directed by David Parsons and featuring Parsons Dance, and with a new work entitled Ariadne Unhinged, directed by Karole Armitage and featuring members of Armitage Gone! Dance. In 2009, Mark Morris directed the U.S. stage premiere of Haydn's L'isola disabitata. Most recently, in 2010, Gotham made news world-wide for its high-tech production of Haydn's Il mondo della luna, staged in the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History, and for Montsalvatge's El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), at The New Victory Theater, staged by Tony Award-nominated director Moisés Kaufman, with puppet design by Blind Summit Theatre. For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.
Since opening its doors in 1988, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater has been an invaluable cultural resource for John Jay College and the larger New York City community. Under the new direction of Executive Director Shannon R. Mayers, the Theater is dedicated to the creation and presentation of performing arts programming of all disciplines with a special focus on how the artistic imagination can shed light on the many perceptions of justice in our society. The Theater has hosted prestigious events for Lincoln Center Festival, Great Performances, Juilliard, Alvin Ailey and numerous television specials for HBO and Comedy Central. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu/theater.php.