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Opera On Tap Presents THE LONGEST NIGHT At HERE This December


Everything is not as it seems, and everyone's journey is not as aesthetic as we are led to believe.

Opera On Tap Presents THE LONGEST NIGHT At HERE This December

In honor of the solstice and batting an eyelash towards holiday-triggering depression, Opera on Tap returns to HERE to present a female-driven cabaret of contemporary classical songs.

Featuring commissioned world premiere songs by Obie-award-winning composer Diedre Murray with text by Samantha Nahra and Beth Morrison Projects Next Generation Finalist composer Laura Jobin-Acosta with text by Joanie Brittingam.

Everything is not as it seems, and everyone's journey is not as aesthetic as we are led to believe.

The Longest Night is a compilation of three concepts: Bitterness, Solstice, and finally, Witchcraft. The entrancing voices of Joanie Brittingham, Kayleigh Butcher, Victoria Davis, Rocky Duval, Mary Rose Go, Joy Jan Jones, and Samantha Nahra accompanied by Candace Chien, will take you through the journey of being "that girl". Follow the story of being a woman in New York City, PC (Post Covid), and the emotional journey from then until now.

The cabaret will feature an eclectic array of solstace-ready songs by Paul Ayres, Christopher Berg, William Bolcom, Tom Cipullo, Raphael Fusco, Whitney George, Ricky Ian Gordon, Benton Hess, Lori Laitman, Libby Larsen, Kamala Sankaram, Kirsten Volness, Joelle Wallach, and Philip Warton.

Performed by Joanie Brittingham, Victoria Davis, Rocky Duval, Mary Rose Go, Joy Jan Jones and Samantha Nahra, and with piano accompaniment by Candace Chien

"The Divergent Night" with music by Diedre Murray and "Apprentice Crone" with music by Laura Jobin-Acosta are pieces based on the unique experiences of the poets, Samantha Nahra and Joanie Brittingham. In Apprentice Crone, Joanie expresses both vulnerability and empowerment seen through the lenses of women. She leaves the age of the woman to be interpreted by the audience, but with a nod to changes that come with age, and societal expectations of an aging woman. Her inspiration is found in Jody Day's Gateway Women, inspiring her to turn a painful experience of involuntary childlessness into one of power and fearlessness. In Samantha's poem, "The Divergent Night," she too takes back her power. In recent years, neurodivergence has entered social awareness. Many people use these disabilities as an "out" for moments when they don't fit into societal norms. For Samantha, this sonnet is written with her former and present self in mind. Written sonnet style reversed, she writes an ode to herself in nature.

Opera on Tap (OOT), now 12 years old, was one of the pioneers in the movement to bring opera out of the opera house and into alternative venues. OOT has made a name for itself by presenting laid-back, entertaining, and irreverent operatic concerts that break out of the stereotypical mold of opera. By doing so, Opera on Tap shines a light on the core elements that make opera great: the beauty of the music, the (often bizarre) stories, and the incredible talent it takes to sing operatic repertoire. Opera on Tap's credo is that the power of the human voice is best appreciated about 20 feet away, with a beer in hand.

The Longest Night has been a labor of love, in more ways than one. "As singers and leaders and curators in the industry who identify as women, we have been through several transformative moments over the last year or so. The Longest Night is a compilation of our feelings, thoughts and even struggles with what we have gone through. From grappling with identity, suffering through loss and mourning from dreams that were once so clear to us, we share it all here. Unfortunately, the general public still has not come to terms with the multifaceted nature of women. And we don't plan to explain ourselves here. In this space, we want you to laugh, cry, sit in stillness and even join us in expressing your woes."- Co-Curators, Joanie Brittingham and Victoria Davis

"When Joanie and Victoria approached me with this concept for a cabaret, I was immediately intrigued. In my mind I keep envisioning this program as sort of a 'Wiccan Winterreise'. They have put together a really incredible list of songs, and I am so proud that we have been able to commission Diedre Murray and Laura Jobin-Acosta especially for this program. Audiences can expect a rollicking good time, soaked in bitterness, silliness, sadness and everything else that comes along with being 'that girl' in today's society. Equally exciting will be the projection design integration by cari ann shim sham*. I have had the honor of collaborating with her on multiple projects and her work is always gorgeous, thoughtful and truly immersive."- Opera on Tap Executive and Artistic Director, Anne Hiatt.

Performances: December 21 @ 7pm, December 22 @ 7pm at The Dorothy B. Williams Theatre @ HERE (145 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013) Tickets available at this link.

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