Heartbeat Opera Announces LADY M Extension

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HEARTBEAT OPERA extends its LADY M soirées on Zoom after selling out the first 18. 14 more have been added from May 27-June 6.

LADY M is an online fantasia of Verdi's Macbeth through the eyes of Lady Macbeth, opera's most thrilling anti-heroine.


Wednesday, May 27 at 2pm & 8pm
Thursday, May 28 at 7pm & 9pm
Friday, May 29 at 2pm & 8pm
Saturday, May 30 at 8pm
Wednesday, June 3 at 2pm & 8pm
Thursday, June 4 at 7pm & 9pm
Friday, June 5 at 2pm & 8pm
Saturday, June 6 at 8pm

From Heartbeat Co-Artistic Directors Louisa Proske and Ethan Heard: "Heartbeat Opera was founded on the principle of meeting restrictions with creativity and imagination. We aim to lead the way in innovating the art form towards a leaner, but no less potent expression. Today, we are facing our biggest restriction yet-the inability to meet and share work in a physical space. We are devastated by the human toll of this crisis, and by the threat it poses to the livelihood of the performing arts scene-and we feel it is our duty to seize this moment and find new modes of creating together online. We see this as vital research for an uncertain future. The urge to express ourselves prevails, and we take pride in creating work for artists during this time of uncertainty."

Lady M wants more. More power, more money-more of whatever will make her happy. She drives her husband, whose stock is rising, to eliminate the competition. But in a city of glass towers, where there is always more to desire, satisfaction-and sleep-are slippery.

HEARTBEAT OPERA-the daring young indie opera company whose unconventional orchestrations and stagings of classic operas have been called "a radical endeavor" by Alex Ross in The New Yorker-concludes its sixth season with its first adaptation of Verdi: LADY M, a reimagined and re-orchestrated work-in-progress, envisioning the story of Macbeth through the eyes of Lady Macbeth.

In light of COVID-19, Heartbeat Opera takes its LADY M rehearsals and performances online. Rather than cancel its production, the company launched a 10-day Remote Residency with their artists collaboratively rehearsing in self-isolation, followed by a series of intimate Virtual Soirées through Zoom video conferencing from May 11-June 6.

New York Magazine's discerning "Approval Matrix" dubbed LADY M "High brow and brilliant" last week, while Washington Post critic Michael Brodeur wrote: "Movement director Emma Jaster has the singers taking full advantage of their tiny frames, with choreography that plays with the walls of the grid and the depth of their rooms. Lithe leadership and arrangements by music director Jacob Ashworth and arranger Daniel Schlosberg never overcrowd the tight acoustic confines of Zoom. And each of the performances-from soprano Felicia Moore, who powerfully realizes her Lady M from her own childhood bedroom, to baritone Quentin Oliver Lee, whose Macbeth brings sound and fury-manage to reach through the screen."

Each 60-minute Soirée includes: a welcome toast, live performances by two cast members (different each day), Q&A, and two videos created under quarantine: a documentary with behind-the-scenes footage of Heartbeat's artists rehearsing together virtually from their homes; and a music video of Lady M's "Sleepwalking Scene" sung by Felicia Moore, played by the six-piece band, and featuring the other cast members of LADY M. Recordings of individual artists have been edited together as Heartbeat did in its acclaimed "Make Our Garden Grow" virtual performance-only this time with added drama, film editing tricks, and Shakespearean acting.

LADY M features six singers, including a trio of soloists as the shapeshifting Weird Sisters, six instrumentalists, and electronic sound design. The band is the superb Cantata Profana. Daniel Schlosberg once again creates a brand new re-orchestration that weaves in sound design and electronics. Jacob Ashworth music directs.

Stripping away the clichés that have accumulated around Lady Macbeth and her story, Heartbeat's version explores ambition, gender, and violence through a contemporary American lens. Heartbeat Co-Artistic Director Ethan Heard, known for his socially conscious adaptations of classics like a Fidelio that recruited real prison choirs as the chorus, directs. His LADY M holds a mirror to NY in 2020: hedge fund managers and escorts, in glass towers and back alleys; the ferocious ambition and the nonstop drive. In this interview with ALL ARTS TV, Ethan describes what it was like adapting Heartbeat's production of Verdi's Macbeth for a digital stage.

Music Director Jacob Ashworth, Arranger Daniel Schlosberg, and Electronic Sound Designer/Performer Senem Pirler collaborate to breathe fresh life into Verdi's music. The band features piano, violin, clarinet, trombone, guitar, percussion, each doubling on an impressive array of additional instruments. Their adaptation distills Verdi's chorus of witches down to a virtuosic trio, the Weird Sisters, honoring Shakespeare's original text and endowing each sister with a soloist's importance. Picking up where Heartbeat Opera's Der Freischütz left off, Lady M continues to explore the realm of electronic music and sound design, especially as it pertains to evil and magic. Audiences can expect processing, contemporary vocal techniques, and other experimentation with electroacoustic sounds.

Each intimate 60-minute soirée includes:
A welcome toast, live performances by two cast members (on a rotating schedule), screenings of a new behind-the-scenes documentary and a music video
of Lady M's Sleepwalking Scene, and Q&A.
$30 per household; $10 for students
Comps for those experiencing financial hardship during this crisis

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