NYC Opera Announces Casting for VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab

NYC Opera Announces Casting for VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab

New York City Opera today announced full casting details for the 12th season of its celebrated annual new music festival, VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab. The festival kicks-off on Saturday, May 14 with performances at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (Skirball), and continues on Sunday, May 15 with a new series called Second Stage, where the second day of the festival will move to the more intimate club setting of Le Poisson Rouge. The VOX program gives composers and librettists an opportunity to workshop pieces that are in early stages of development or have been composed for smaller ensembles. All of the selected works will be performed by an orchestra and soloists.

City Opera's 2011 VOX festival will feature performances from several City Opera artists including Meredith Lustig who recently made her debut as Giannetta in The Elixir of Love, Nicholas Pallesen who appeared as Robert Storch in Intermezzo, and Yunah Lee, best known for her portrayal of Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly.

For the first time in VOX history, the festival features two works that have been developed out of UVOX's UWords First librettist program. Words First began in 2009 as a way to support a working group of established playwrights with an interest in writing opera librettos. The two selections chosen from the Words First program include Arlene Sierra and Lucy Thurber's Faustine and Paola Prestini and Donna di Novelli's De Deo.

The ten selected operas showcase the many distinguishing traits that make contemporary American opera unique. Featured works include musical theater composer Andrew Gerle's The Beach; Huang Ruo and Candice Chong's Sun Yat-Sen, which will have its world premiere in fall 2011 at Opera Hong Kong; and David T. Little and Royce Vavrek's Vinkensport, which was commissioned by Dawn Upshaw's Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College, and had a workshop production in February 2010.

Six opera excerpts will be presented at Skirball on Saturday, along with a pre-performance panel discussion on producing art in alternate spaces, and a post-show artist talkback. Both discussions are open to all ticket holders. Four operatic works arranged for smaller ensembles will be showcased at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday. The audience for Sunday's performances is also invited for post-show drinks with the composers, librettists and singers.

Tickets for VOX will be $25 for the performance at Skirball, and $15 for performance at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased online, through CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or in-person at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office. Tickets will also be available at the venue on the day of the performances.

UAbout VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab
VOX is an opera lab of new works that offers American composers and librettists the opportunity to hear their works performed by professional musicians in an exploratory setting. Every year, VOX presents up to twelve new and previously un-produced works from both emerging and established composers in orchestra readings that are free and open to the public. For the last half century, New York City Opera has been a leader in the development of American opera. City Opera has presented an unmatched repertory of American works, including those of over 50 American composers, and has shaped an American aesthetic for opera through the world premieres of more than 25 American operas. VOX is at the core of New York City Opera's commitment to American opera; to date, VOX has presented excerpts from more than 100 new operas, with more than 40 of those going on to full productions - six at City Opera and the others at companies including Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Michigan Opera Theater and Santa Fe Opera.


NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place
(Washington Square Park South)
New York, NY 10012
Tickets: $25

Saturday, May 14

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Producing art in alternative spaces, moderated by Beth Morrison
Performances will be followed by an interactive discussion with New York City Opera's General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel, Music Director George Manahan, and Director of Artistic Planning Ed Yim.

All Three Acts of a Sad Play Performed Entirely in Bed
Music by Dag Gabrielsen
Libretto by Julie Larios
Set entirely in the comfort of her covers, a woman recounts memories of an affair in her youth. The relationship begins to deteriorate and only after comparison with new lovers does the woman realize the true love that she had.

Ryan McAdams Conductor
Meredith Lustig Lily
Karin Mushegain Lyle

Music by Arlene Sierra
Libretto by Lucy Thurber
This adaptation of Emma Tennant's Faustine explores the power of a selfish, consumer-oriented desire for eternal youth and beauty.

Ryan McAdams Conductor
Jason Abrams Devil
Jennifer Roderer Muriel
Deanna Breiwick Ella
Amanda Pabyan Anna
Ian Greenlaw Harry

Mary Shelley
Music by Allan Jaffe
Libretto by Deborah Atherton
Based on the life of novelist Mary Shelley, this retelling follows the life of the famed Frankenstein author and the personal effects of the literary monster she created.

Kazem Abdullah Conductor
Jon-Michael Ball Shelley
Joshua Jeremiah Byron
Nicholas Coppolo Polidori
Yunah Lee Mary
Jennifer Tiller Clare
Matthew Curran Monster
Benjamin P. Wenzelberg Child

Sun Yat-Sen
Music by Huang Ruo
Libretto by Candice Chong
While fleeing an assassination attempt, Sun Yat-Sen, the leader of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance, marries the daughter of a friend and fellow revolutionary without his consent. After a botched attempt to overthrow the old government, the old friends are reunited and the marriage is blessed.

George Manahan Conductor
Guang Yang Ni Gui-Zhen
Dong-Jian Gong Charles Song
Yingxi Zhang Yat-Sen
Xi Wang Lu Mu-Zhen

The Beach
Music by Andrew Gerle
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Inspired by recent events in France, this music drama documents the abuse of a wealthy older man by his much-younger wife, who has locked him away in the confines of the laundry room to escape the stress of her husband's onset of Alzheimer's. After nearly a year, he is rescued from his fantasies of spending a year at the beach - and his makeshift bed of unwashed towels.

George Manahan Conductor
Caroline Worra Adele
Jane Shaulis Margaret
Nicholas Pallesen Jean-Luc
Bailey Grey Dede
William Ledbetter William

Music by David T. Little
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
A motley assortment of contestants participates in a finch-sitting competition to see who has the most melodious bird. Although a seemingly simple and gentle competition, the competitors' inner monologues and flashbacks to their preparations reveal deep-seated rivalries, painful loneliness, and blossoming romance.

George Manahan Conductor
Amanda Hall Farinelli's Trainer
Jennifer Tiller St. Francis' Trainer
Michael Marcotte Hans Sachs' Trainer
Joshua Jeremiah Gabriel III's Trainer
Kerri Marcinko Sir Elton John's Trainer


Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
Tickets: $15

Sunday, May 15
7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Ticketholders are invited to stay for drinks with the artists following the performances.

Blood Rose
Music and Libretto by Hannah Lash
The classic Beauty and the Beast legend is turned on its head in this updated drama. To alleviate Beast's sense of rage from the devastation of his garden, he uses the blood of Beauty to water his broken flowers in an attempt to make them bloom again.

Robert Trevino Conductor
Daryl Freedman Beauty
Eric Brenner The Beast

De Deo
Music by Paola Prestini
Libretto by Donna DiNovelli
In the opera, De Deo, a contemporary young man from Brooklyn, in search of his identity, is led by a Roma tour guide into the medieval mechanism known as the wheel. Wheels, built into the walls of Catholic churches across the European continent, carry infants into a massive system of foundling hospitals along with the unwed mothers who abandon them. What begins as a search for identity becomes a quest for the divine as the wheel resurfaces throughout history.

Robert Trevino Conductor
Meredith Lustig Roma
Marcello Guzzo Matteo
Amy Shoremount-Obra Beatrice
Robert Mack Pietro
Matthew Curran Thug/Shepherd/Jailer

Maren of Vardo
Music by Jeff Myers
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Inspired by real events in 17th century Norway, a young girl's supposed alliances with the devil lead to betrayal and vengeance in their unrequited romance.

Robert Trevino Conductor
Deanna Breiwick Maren
Nicholas Pallesen Satan
Yunah Lee Bodil
Matthew Burns Priest

Three Weeks
Music by Yoav Gal
Libretto by Reuven Namdar
This docu-opera traces the events surrounding the three-week period leading up to the Ninth of Av Day of Atonement, marking the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70AD. Partly historical, partly legend, this episode still reverberates today, especially in its mirror relationship to the rebirth of the modern state of Israel.

Robert Trevino Conductor
Judith Berkson Narrator/Daughter of Nakidimon
Cherry Duke Martha/Soprano
Jon-Michael Ball Yochanan/Tenor
Ian Greenlaw Messenger/Baritone
Heather Green Aspasianus

About NYU Skirball Center
The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation
of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by
executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael
Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU's mission as an international
center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually
rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult
audiences for the future of live performance.

UAbout Le Poisson Rouge
Le Poisson Rouge is a multimedia art cabaret founded by musicians on the site of the historic Village Gate. Dedicated to the fusion of popular and art cultures in music, film, theater, dance, and fine art, the venue's mission is to revive the symbiotic relationship between art and revelry; to establish a creative asylum for both artists and audiences.

Sponsors and Supporters
VOX 2011 is made possible with leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major support provided is by The Amphion Foundation, Inc., the ASCAP Foundation, John E. Baumgardner Jr., Carol M. and Timothy A. Cole, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Younghee Kim-Wait, Linda and Stuart Nelson, Raymond Steckel, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Ltd., The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, and contributors to the VOX Special Appeal. VOX is funded, in part, through Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections Program.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.