TWO CORNERS World Premiere & More Set for Finger Lakes Opera 2024 Summer Season

The season will feature Puccini's GIANNI SCHICCHI and more.

By: May. 30, 2024
TWO CORNERS World Premiere & More Set for Finger Lakes Opera 2024 Summer Season
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​Finger Lakes Opera  has unveiled its 2024 Summer Season, which features the highly anticipated world premiere of B.E. Boykin and Jarrod Lee's Two Corners, Puccini's uproarious Gianni Schicchi and more.

Tickets to all FLO's 2023 Summer Festival events can be purchased online at www.fingerlakesopera.org or over the phone by calling 585-450-3880.

According to Executive Director Elizabeth Long, "FLO has entered its second decade of producing professional opera and the 2024 Summer Festival features many firsts. This will be the first summer FLO will present not one, but two operas. This is the first summer that FLO has featured soprano Kearstin Piper Brown, who just returned to Rochester fresh off her triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut. And of course, 2024 marks the third phase of the Two Corners project which will culminate in the world premiere performances, right here in Rochester." Below is a listing of all FLO events leading up to and included in the 2024 Summer Festival:

Come Sundays - FLO is partnering with area churches by providing guest singers for weekly church services where singers from the cast of Two Corners will sing selections from the newly commissioned opera in anticipation of the world premiere performances. FLO will partner with the following:

April 28 @ 10 am: baritone Joshua Conyers performs at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church (141 Adams Street)

May 5 @ 10 am: soprano Kearstin Piper Brown, fresh off her debut at The Metropolitan Opera, performs at New Bethel A.M.E. Church (270 Scio Street)

June 2 @ 10 am: baritone Joshua Conyers performs at Baber A.M.E. Church (550 Meigs Street)

June 9 @ 10 am: baritone Holden Turner performs at Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church (549 Clarissa Street)

Behind the Curtain - On May 22 at 7 p.m., on the stage of Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, FLO will present a free panel discussion moderated by Crystal Sellers Battle, Eastman School of Music's Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion. Battle will lead a discussion on the Two Corners creative process and the themes explored therein. Panelists include Composer B.E. Boykin, Librettist Jarrod Lee, Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown, and FLO Artistic Director, Conductor, and Founder Gerard Floriano. This program is sponsored by the George Walker Center for Equity and Inclusion in Music. Event is free with online registration.

Juneteenth - FLO kicks-off its 2024 Summer Festival with a free program on June 14 at 7 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church that will be emceed by News 10 NBC-WHEC anchor Deanna Dewberry and feature Mt. Olivet Sanctuary Choir with Wings of Praise Flag Ministry and

FLO singers from the cast of Two Corners, FLO's newly commissioned, one-act opera, by composer B.E. Boykin and librettist Jarrod Lee. Event is free with online registration.

Out Loud at the MAG - this fun, happy-hour event runs from 5-7 p.m. on June 26 in the Vanden Brul Pavilion of the Memorial Art Gallery. Featured on the program will be FLO's 2024 Young Artist (six incredible singers selected from an applicant pool of 514). Appetizers and drink are included in the ticket price of $40/person; catered by Brown Hound.

Two Corners (WORLD PREMIERE performances) - June 28 (7 p.m.) and June 30 (2 p.m.) on the mainstage theatre of Monroe Community College's Robin and Timothy Wentworth Arts Building, Brighton Campus(#4). FLO commissioned B.E. Boykin and Jarrod Lee to create the company's first opera in 2022. Over the past two, and a half years, this one-act opera has had two weeklong workshops; one in Rochester during FLO's 2023 Summer Festival and the second in Cincinnati when the company was invited to participate in The Cincinnati Opera's Opera Fusion: New Works initiative. Two Corners is loosely based on Boykin's now deceased grandmother Florine, a Black woman, and Florine's friendship with Sarah, a white woman, over a period of two decades during the Civil Rights Era. Portraying the younger versions of Florine and Sarah will be two dancers from Garth Fagan Dance. For the second year in row, Garth Fagan Dance Artistic Director Norwood "PJ" Pennewell will provide original choreography for a summer FLO opera. Singing the lead role of Florine will be soprano and Rochesterian Kearstin Piper-Brown. Two Corners is FLO's first commissioned work and has received local (Rochester Area Community Foundation), state (New York State Arts Council), and federal grant support (OPERA America and the National Endowment for the Arts). Tickets range in price from $45-65/person. There are a limited number of $12.50 student tickets (ID must be presented in person) available as well.

Gianni Schicchi - FLO will close its 2024 Summer Festival with two performances of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, an uproarious story about scheming family members who hope to change a wealthy relative's will, after the relative's death! FLO's 2024 Young Artists will star with additional cast coming from the Rochester area. Tickets range in price from $45-65/person. There are a limited number of $12.50 student tickets (ID must be presented in person) available as well. Tickets to all Finger Lakes Opera's 2024 Summer Festival events can be purchased online at www.fingerlakesopera.org or over the phone by calling (585) 450-3880.

About the Two Corners cast: Soprano Kearstin Piper Brown is back in Rochester after her debut with The Metropolitan Opera as Evelyn in Fire Shut Up in my Bones this April. Brown is one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos in the US. In 2024, she made her debut with Opera San Jose, Florida Grand Opera, and the Lakes Area Music Opera San José. In 2023, Brown made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the world premiere of The Walkers by Daniel Bernard Roumain, sang Wendy Torrance in Paul Moravec's The Shining, first with Opera Parallèle in San Francisco and subsequently with Atlanta Opera, as well as Micaëla in Carmen with Indianapolis Opera. In 2022, Brown sang the lead role of Esther in Ricky Ian Gordon's opera Intimate Apparel with Lincoln Center Theater (as part of the joint Metropolitan Opera's New Works Program), for which she won several awards, including the World Theater Award for "Outstanding Debut Performance in an Off-Broadway Production." This is Brown's debut role with FLO. The rest of the Two Corners cast includes soprano Kate Johnson, who sings the role of Florine's best friend Sarah; baritone Joshua Conyers, who will sing the role of Florine's husband Hollis; mezzo-soprano Rehanna Thelwell will sing the role of Julia, Florine's mother. FLO is proud to have tenors David Soto Zambrana and Nathaniel Catasca, as well as soprano Sydney Anderson, all of whom were first part of FLO's Young Artist Program, return to Rochester for their professional FLO debuts.

About the 2024 Young Artists: After a competitive audition process with 514 applications, FLO's 2024 Young Artists are sopranos Kristen Marie Gillis (covering the role of Florine in Two Corners and singing the role of Nella in Gianni Schicchi) and Kira Kaplan (singing the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi); mezzo-soprano Hailey Cohen (singing the role of Zita in Gianni Schicchi); tenor Nathan Schafer (singing the role of Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi); baritone Yonathan Astatke (covering the role of Hollis in Two Corners and singing the role of Gianni Schicchi); and bass Jose Olivares (singing the role of Simone in Gianni Schicchi). In addition to starring in FLO's Out Loud at the MAG and Gianni Schicchi, the 2024 Young Artists will receive weekly vocal coachings and movement classes, the opportunity to observe and work with FLO's professional, mainstage singers, and participate in masterclasses from industry leaders in the field of opera.

About FLO - FLO is committed to the professional creation and production of opera in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region with a diverse roster of mainstage and emerging young artists. Through engagement and accessibility, FLO adds value to the cultural and economic landscape of the community. Founded in 2012 by current Artistic Director Gerard Floriano, FLO became an independent non-profit organization in 2017. Executive director Elizabeth G. Long was hired in 2019, marking the beginning of FLO's expansion and increased presence that continues today. For more information about FLO, please visit fingerlakesopera.org or call 585-450-3880.




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