Heartbeat Opera Announces 2019-2020 Season

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HEARTBEAT OPERA announces its sixth season, featuring Heartbeat's hottest Drag Extravaganza yet with designer-extraordinaire Miodrag Guberinic riffing on the theme of Mother Earth; and two operatic masterpieces, reimagined, boldly staged, trimmed down, and re-orchestrated: Weber's DER FREISCHÜTZ and Verdi's MACBETH (retitled LADY M).

The creators of visceral hit productions such as a Fidelio that recruited real prison choirs as the chorus, and a Carmen that cut the celebrated "Habanera" from the opening but inserted it as the harrowing finale-are once again at the helm: Heartbeat Co-Artistic Directors Ethan Heard and Louisa Proske and Co-Music Directors Jacob Ashworth and Daniel Schlosberg.

These four graduates of the Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Music founded Heartbeat Opera in 2014 and have since grown their company from an indie "start up" into an internationally recognized player, consistently hailed as a leader in envisioning the future of opera. This past year they joined the roster of Opus 3 Artists, which will help Heartbeat tour the world.

Cantata Profana will play the world premiere of Daniel Schlosberg's arrangements, hailed as "ingenious" by The Wall Street Journal. Both Ms. Proske and Mr. Heard, who put the singers and instrumentalists at the center of their adaptations, will work with Mr. Schlosberg to create original arrangements for Freischütz and Lady M that are closely tied to their visions.

The season opens with...

Singing Gays Saving Gaia

Sixth Annual Halloween Drag Extravaganza
October 30, 2019, 8pm Benefit Performance
October 31, 2019, 7 and 9:30pm Performances
Roulette, Brooklyn

Directed by Ethan Heard
Music directed by Jacob Ashworth and Daniel Schlosberg
Arranged by Daniel Schlosberg
Designed by Miodrag Guberinic

Tickets go on sale September 1, 2019
Heartbeat Opera's beloved, annual tradition of mixing opera, drag, and the art of pastiche returns to Roulette. This year, Heartbeat Opera celebrates Mother Earth in all her beauty and biodiversity.

Award-winning designer and artisan Miodrag Guberinic, who created last year's jaw-dropping Medusa look (see above photo) and has designed for Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, and pop stars like Madonna and Katy Perry, envisions the whole production: flaunting flora, fabulous fauna, and the terrifying Monster of Climate Collapse. Featuring an eclectic and virtuosic array of music by Adams, Wagner, Handel, Mozart, and more. Expect operatic emissions, rising temperatures, high "C's", and polar baritones!

Ethan Heard, who founded the Yale School of Drag while in school, directs.


December 4-15, 2019
Baruch Performing Arts Center, Manhattan
By Carl Maria von Weber
Conceived, adapted and directed by Louisa Proske
Co-directed by Chloe Treat
Newly arranged and music directed from the piano by Daniel Schlosberg
New English dialogues by Michaël Attias and Louisa Proske
Scenic design by Sara Brown
Costume design by Beth Goldenberg
Lighting design by Oliver Wason
Sound design by Will Gardiner
Props designed by Corinne Gologursky Featuring:
Derrell Acon (Kaspar), Casey Candebat (Max), Rubin Casas (Hermit),
Jessica Faselt (Agathe), Nicole Haslett (Ännchen), Daniel Klein (Kaspar),
Ian Koziara (Max), Quentin Oliver Lee (Kilian/ Ottokar), Azumi O E (Samiel),
and more still to be announced.

Tickets go on sale August 1, 2019

Born and raised in Berlin (her opera DNA was shaped singing in the children's chorus of the Komische Oper Berlin) before moving to the U.S. to attend the Yale School of Drama, Louisa Proske is the ideal director to take on this very German work in a way that will resonate with American culture.

A masterpiece mostly neglected by larger companies, Der Freischütz will come to life in Heartbeat's explosive reimagining, with newly translated English dialogue and immersive staging that transforms Baruch Performing Arts Center into a vertiginous landscape full of sound and fury and strange encounters.

As in Don Giovanni (2018) and Carmen (2017), Ms. Proske will work with the inventive composer/pianist Daniel Schlosberg, whose new arrangement of Freischütz will encompass unique sound design and electronics.

With 11 shows over two weeks, this will mark the longest run yet for Heartbeat Opera. Director Louisa Proske on DER FREISCHÜTZ:"I am excited to make a version of Weber's Der Freischütz that plugs both into the strangeness of this story set deep in a 17th century Bohemian forest, and that uses it to speak about the here and now-not a literal 2019, but a mythical America, a poetic world where the line into the national unconscious is crossed, and weird, disturbing images are stirred up. With a score that ranges from exuberant folksy tunes to avant garde sound painting, Daniel Schlosberg and I are thrilled to embark on yet another collaboration, picking up on Weber's choices and pushing them even further with our new Heartbeat arrangement-all while celebrating the beautiful, varied vocal writing that can hold its own with the very best 19th century opera has to offer."


May 11-16, 2020
Irondale, Brooklyn
A new version of Verdi's Macbeth

(Workshop production; full production arrives in 2021)

Directed and adapted by Ethan Heard
Arranged by Daniel Schlosberg
Music directed from the violin by Jacob Ashworth

Ethan Heard's Lady M is a boldly reimagined 90-minute version of Verdi's Macbeth, told through the eyes of Lady Macbeth. 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. The band (the superb Cantata Profana) will be front and center, with the cast moving through the musicians. Daniel Schlosberg once again creates a brand new re-orchestration that weaves in sound design and electronics. Jacob Ashworth music directs.Director Ethan Heard on LADY M:"Heartbeat tackles our first work by Verdi, creating a reordered, 90-minute version of Macbeth entitled Lady M. We center Lady Macbeth's experience, looking at the story through a contemporary American lens. What does it mean to be an ambitious, driven woman today? How do power and wealth corrupt? And how do we strip away clichés that have accumulated around this story-and the character of Lady Macbeth in particular-in order to encounter this thrilling material in a fresh way? For six singers and seven players, our adaptation features electronics, cutting-edge sound design, and three female soloists as the Witches, honoring Shakespeare's original text and bringing Verdi's thrilling music to life in surprising and otherworldly new ways including surround sound, vocal distortion, pitch manipulation, texture, and exaggerated dynamic contrast."


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