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PROTOTYPE: OPERA | THEATRE | NOW Reveals Details for 10th Anniversary Season

PROTOTYPE: OPERA | THEATRE | NOW Reveals Details for 10th Anniversary Season

OPERA | THEATRE | NOW returns January 5-15, 2023 marking its first performances since the pandemic.

The 10th Anniversary PROTOTYPE - OPERA | THEATRE | NOW season will resume January 5 - 15, 2023 after it was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. Three of the pieces originally scheduled for the 2022 festival were subsequently presented as standalone shows which includes Taylor Mac's The Hang from January 20 - March 6, 2022, produced by HERE; Huang Ruo's Book of Mountains & Seas from March 15 - 20, 2022, produced by Beth Morrison Projects; Grace Galu and Baba Israel's Cannabis: A Viper Vaudeville from July 14 - 31, 2022 produced by HERE.

The works that will be presented during the festival's tenth anniversary now include the double bill presentation of Trade/Mary Motorhead by Emma O'Halloran, mɔɹnɪŋ by Gelsey Bell, In Our Daughter's Eyes by Du Yun, The All Sing: Here Lies Joy by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR). The international works in this year's festival include Marchita by Silvana Estrada, note to a friend by David Lang, commissioned by Japan Society (and co-produced by Japan Society and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan), and animated opera Undine by Stefanie Janssen & Michaël Brijs.

The PROTOTYPE Festival continues its 10th anniversary with its founding directors Kristin Marting and Beth Morrison; former co-director Jecca Barry continues as a co-curator this season.

Opening PROTOTYPE's 10th Anniversary Season is In Our Daughter's Eyes on January 5 which reunites Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun, and multidisciplinary librettist & director Michael Joseph McQuilken in this one man opera about a father who goes on a journey to become the man his daughter would be proud of. On January 6 is the world premiere of mɔɹnɪŋ (pronounced as "mourning"/ "morning") by composer/writer Gelsey Bell, which explores the legacy of an Earth devoid of humans. The double-bill world premiere of Emma O'Halloran's Trade/Mary Motorhead opens on January 7. Mary Motorhead portrays a convicted murderer pushed to the edge by circumstance, now finding the road back to herself. TRADE is the story of a rent boy and his closeted client in working-class Dublin, both trapped within their own lives. The All Sing - "Here Lies Joy" has its world premiere in Times Square on January 8, and is produced by PROTOTYPE. The music is composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), the librettist and creative director is Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and is conducted by Damien Sneed.

Marchita is a world premiere by Silvana Estrada with music arranged by Roberto Verástegui, music direction by Laura Itandehui, choreography by Clara Pampyn, and the vocals of Ka'y Ha' Quartet opening January 12. Also opening January 12 is note to a friend, a promotional partnership with PROTOTYPE, and co-produced by Japan Society and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. The animated opera Undine by Stefanie Janssen & Michaël Brijs can be streamed digitally through the run of the festival. Undine is about a mermaid who is addicted to hard plastic, and a lonely wife and philosopher who become seduced by her.

There will be one in-person artist conversation for each show.

Tickets can be secured at
Tickets for members go on sale November 1.
Tickets for the public go on sale November 15.

Production Details

January 5-6, 10*-11 & 13-14, 2023 at 8pm | January 7 & 15, 2023 at 3pm | 75 mins. (no intermission)
Baruch Performing Arts Center

A Beth Morrison Projects Production

Composed by Du Yun
Libretto by Michael McQuilken
Directed by Michael McQuilken
Conducted by Kamna Gupta
Starring Nathan Gunn

Told through the perspective of a new father, In Our Daughter's Eyes shows the journey of the protagonist as he wrestles with truly becoming a man that his daughter would be proud of. He imparts passages from the journal he keeps -- a gift for his unborn daughter -- as the moments of this journey unfold before him. The story traces his wife's joyful and fraught pregnancy, the legacy of the family's past, and his personal demons that he vows to vanquish before assuming the role of a father. Along the way, mounting complications take the story through unexpected and sobering turns that test our flawed hero as he discovers a strength of self and purpose that he never imagined possible. This moving and heartfelt one man opera reunites Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and multidisciplinary librettist & director Michael Joseph McQuilken after their lauded co-creation of Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel's Bone in 2016.

This production is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

In Our Daughter's Eyes is dedicated, in loving memory, to Stuart Nelson.

*The performance on January 10 will be followed by an artist conversation.

January 8* & 14 at 4pm, January 10-11 at 7pm, January 7 & 13 at 7:30pm, 2023 | 105 min (possible intermission)
Abrons Arts Center

A Beth Morrison Projects Production

Composed by Emma O'Halloran
Libretto by Mark O'Halloran
Directed by Tom Creed
Music Director Elaine Kelly
Starring Kyle Bielfield, Marc Kudisch, and Naomi O'Connell

In the compelling monodrama Mary Motorhead, a convicted murderer invites us to hear her secret history-the disappointments and betrayals that shaped her life-in the hope that it may shine some light upon the darkness of her actions. Mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O'Connell stars as the woman pushed to the edge by circumstance, now finding the road back to herself.

TRADE is the story of a rent boy and his closeted client in working-class Dublin, both trapped within their own lives. Meeting secretly in a cheap hotel, they wrestle with their own inner demons and their need for each other. Three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch star of LA Opera's Wonderful Town and anatomy theater portrays a family man whose world is crumbling apart, with international recording artist Kyle Bielfield as a young hustler determined to take charge of his future.

*The performance on January 8 will be followed by an artist conversation.

January 7-8, 15 at 5pm and January 6, 9, 11*-13 at 7:30pm, 2023 | 85 mins. (no intermission)
HERE Mainstage

A HERE Production

Created by Gelsey Bell
Directed by Tara Ahmadinejad

An experimental opera inhabits a world in which all humans have disappeared from Earth. An ensemble of five vocalist/multi-instrumentalists witness and guide the audience through the changes on Earth as forests grow back, new species evolve, and the human-made world erodes away. The piece is a fantastical and playful exploration into the dire political and ethical contradictions that structure current human relations with nature.

The commissioning of Gelsey for mɔɹnɪŋ received funding from OPERA America's Opera Grants for Women Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Production design support provided by the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York). This production is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

*The performance on January 11th will be followed by an artist conversation.

January 12-14*, 2023 at 6pm and 9:30pm | 60 mins.
Dorothy B. Williams Theater, HERE Arts Center

Composed, directed and performed by Silvana Estrada
Music Direction by Laura Itandehui
Musical arrangements by Roberto Verástegui and Juanma Trujillo
Choreographed by Clara Pampyn
Featuring the Ka'y Ha' Quartet

After an international tour across the globe, Silvana Estrada summons a new passage for her debut album Marchita in a ritual of melodies that burst from tradition, loss, and love. You will not want to miss this intimate performance by this rising star of the international folk music scene!

This engagement of Silvana Estrada is made possible through Performing Arts Global Exchange, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

*The performance on January 14 will be followed by an artist conversation.

"Here Lies Joy"
January 8, 2023 | 15 mins.
Times Square

Co-created by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Marc Bamuthi Joseph,
Composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Libretto and creative direction by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Music direction by Damien Sneed
Featuring an incredible line-up of MET soloists, to be announced at a later date.

In an exuberant cri de coeur, PROTOTYPE will celebrate its 10th anniversary season by bringing communities together through what we know best - the voice. Originally commissioned in direct response to the forced isolation of the pandemic, The All Sing is an ode to song and human connection that brings hundreds of people together in a vibrant tapestry of sound, poetic justice, and hope. From the voices who tread the boards of some of our most hallowed stages to those who tread the tiles of their shower, all are welcome in this ebullient celebration of connection, community, and our capacity for joy. Together we will craft an unforgettable moment and sing for a return to a more just, healthy, and music-filled life.

note to a friend
January 12th & 14 2023 at 7:30pm* | January 15th, 2023 at 3pm | 60 minutes
Japan Society
Composed by David Lang
Text by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Directed by Yoshi Oida
Starring Theo Bleckmann

In response to Japan Society's commissioning for a new chamber opera, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang picked up texts written by iconic Japanese novelist Ryunosuke Akutagawa. The result is this stunning and haunting song cycle, note to a friend, addressing an eternal human fascination with death and suicide. Theater luminary Yoshi Oida, Paris-based opera director and longtime member of Peter Brook's international theater company, directs this world premiere for the one-and-only New York vocalist Theo Bleckmann. Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Japan, co-producer of this production, selects the featured string quartet members. You can't miss this meetup of international gems!

Commissioned by Japan Society. Co-produced by Japan Society and Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, in a promotional partnership with PROTOTYPE. note to a friend is supported, in part, by Doug and Teresa Peterson, and The Japan Foundation, New York. This project is part of a promotional partnership with PROTOTYPE.

*Please note the performance on Thursday, January 12 will be followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artist Reception, and the performance on Saturday, January 14 will be followed by an artist conversation.

Streaming January 5-15, 2023*
Live virtual Q & A with Artists on January 9 at 4pm
Based on a story by Stefanie Janssen
Original Music by Stefanie Janssen & Michaël Brijs
Story by Stefanie Janssen, Sjaron Minailo & Michaël Brijs
Directed, edited and screenplay by Sjaron Minailo
Music and foley recording, mixing, production, mastering by Richard van Kruysdijk

An epidemic of addiction is raging in the world of mermaids. The mermaid Undine is addicted to hard plastic! In search of her daily dose, she ends up moving between an aquarium and a hydroponic garden in an apartment building in the middle of a city. There she meets the deeply unhappy Rodmenia, the wife of a tailor, and her neighbour Anselmo, an eccentric philosopher. Undine stays in the aquarium in Anselmo's study, where she appeases her addictive hunger with plastic busts of famous philosophers. Undine's arrival shakes Rodmenia and Anselmo out of their respective ruts. The two neighbors become obsessed by the mermaid. Her magic world, in which she manipulates and seduces, stirs up an unprecedented desire for something glorious. Whereas Rodmenia sees this as a chance to escape her lonely, depressing existence and take charge of her own life, Anselmo sees Undine as a trophy, and the answer to the philosophic questions upon which his life has foundered. They each abandon themselves to their excessive desires, with far reaching consequences.

*There will be an artist conversation for Undine on January 14 at 7:30pm ET.

PROTOTYPE - OPERA | THEATRE | NOW is a co-production of Beth Morrison Projects and HERE, two trailblazers in the creation and presentation of contemporary, multi-disciplinary opera-theatre and music-theatre works. The pioneering festival is the only one of its kind in New York City and is a model now emulated around the country - producing and presenting a wide spectrum of works, from intimate black-box experiences to larger chamber opera productions, valuing artistic, curatorial, and producorial risk-taking.

PROTOTYPE is committed to surprising our audiences and confounding their expectations through content, form, and relevance. The festival gives voice to a diverse group of composers, librettists, performers and musicians across all genres, backgrounds, and cultures. In providing a recurring showcase of visionary opera-theatre and music-theatre pieces, the touring life of the work extends around the world. The festival also presents groundbreaking new works by International Artists and has become a global reference of artistic excellence in the field of opera and music-theatre.

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