Tribeca New Music Presents A Concert Reading of RETURNING: THE ORDEAL OF OLIVE OATMAN

A new opera concert reading of Returning: The Ordeal of Olive Oatman at Opera America's National Opera Center, NYC.

By: Sep. 18, 2023
Tribeca New Music Presents A Concert Reading of RETURNING: THE ORDEAL OF OLIVE OATMAN
Tribeca New Music Presents A Concert Reading of RETURNING: THE ORDEAL OF OLIVE OATMAN

Tribeca New Music presents a concert reading of Returning: the Ordeal of Olive Oatman, a new 90 minute opera in three acts. Based on the true story of a Mormon girl taken captive by Native Americans, the drama takes place in the Southwestern USA in 1851.

The opera depicts the struggles of Olive Oatman (Natalie Ballenger) once she is returned to white society. Encouraged by charismatic charlatan Reverend Royal B. Stratton (Markel Reed) and her brother Lorenzo (Edward Washington II), Olive tours America speaking of her time as an adopted daughter of the Mohave. But are her words her own? Olive must learn to regain her true voice, and heal the fractures in her soul, as she goes from popular concert speaker to wife of respected rancher John Brant Fairchild (Christopher Job). Only when she is reunited with the Mohave Chief who acted as her father, does Olive have the courage to reclaim what her heart truly values. Along her life's journey she is helped by down-to-earth madam and feminist Sarah Bowman, aka "The Great Western" (Jeanette Blakeney). The haunting score combines Western music inspired by the period with Native American influences.

Returning: the Ordeal of Olive Oatman is the second collaboration of composer Edmund Cionek and librettist Maryanne Bertollo. Their first opera, Elizabeth Frankenstein, was also produced by Tribeca New Music with a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts at the cell theatre, NYC.

Edmund Cionek's (Composer) theatrical works have been seen at Mabou Mines, The FringefestNYC, the Flea Theatre and the cell theatre. He writes concert music, arranges and orchestrates music on demand and teaches at NYU. ("a first rate, witty composer" -William Bolcom; "evocative music" The NY Times) https://www.edmundcionek.com/

Maryanne Bertollo (Librettist) is a graduate of Bennington College, where she studied under Frank McCourt. She enjoys writing novels based on the lives of 19th century women, some of which she has self-published under the pen name Annabelle Troy. Click Here

Gerald Steichen (Music Director/Pianist) has conducted the Boston Pops and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, appeared on NBC's "Today Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America," and performed at New York City's Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. "One of America's most versatile conductors" Broadway World. "He is an engaging presence" Detroit News. https://geraldsteichen.com/

Jessica Medoff (Stage Director) is a versatile artist: director, soprano, screen and stage actress. She has appeared at the Utah Festival Opera, The Princeton Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen and Breckenridge Music Festivals. [Medoff] "Skillfully employs her trademark vocal versatility to wring out every drop of emotion..." Harold Journal. https://www.jessicamedoff.com/

Natalie Ballenger (Olive Oatman) A soloist at NYC venues such as Lincoln Center (NY City Opera debut-Alecko/Pagliacci), Metropolitan Room, Symphony Space, LOONY, and VHRP Live. She recently performed Nellie Forbush in South Pacific at Theatre Under The Stars in Houston, Texas. http://www.natalieballenger.com/

Jeanette Blakeney (Great Western) From Bizet to Broadway, she has been hailed as a gifted singer-actor of great depth. She has graced the stages of New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall and The Kennedy Center as well as numerous prestigious international venues as well. "...a bravura performance with warm singing and intense acting." La Voix Humane -Opera News https://www.jeanetteblakeney.com

Markel Reed (Reverend Royal Stratton) Baritone, Markel Reed, Baritone, has recently appeared in multiple productions at The Metropolitan Opera including, Fire Shut up in my Bones in which he created the role of Chester. He also makes his house debut with Virginia Opera as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia this Fall. https://www.markelreed.com/

Christopher Job (John Brant Fairchild) A house favorite at The Metropolitan Opera; featured in ten Live in HD Broadcasts; currently, in Dead Man Walking among others, such as Tosca, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Medea, Werther, Macbeth, Don Carlos and Der Rosenkavalier. "Commanding sonority." - Opera News

Edward Washington II (Lorenzo Oatman) has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Orlando Opera, Central Florida Lyric Opera, Opera Omaha, Detroit Opera, International Festival of the Voice, and New York City Opera. This ΦΜΑ member is committed to advancing music in America. https://www.edward2know.com/

Chorus (soldiers, buskers, ranch hands, Washington D.C. aides):

Daniel Lopez is a singer, actor, writer, and guitarist. Select credits include: TV/Film: Blue Bloods (CBS), FBI (CBS). Select opera roles include Alfredo in La Traviata and Tamino in The Magic Flute. Select theater: Tony in West Side Story, Lancelot in Camelot, and Into The Woods at The Hollywood Bowl. His former band, The Opera Men was featured on DECCA's "Disney Goes Classical" album, which premiered #1 on the classical billboard. https://www.daniellopezactor.com Instagram: @realdaniellopez

Kyle Torrence is an American Baritone. He has sung with the Cherry Grove Arts Project's Over the Piano and with The Light Opera of New Jersey where he was cast as Maxillian in Candide. At The Connecticut Concert Opera he has performed in Lakme as Hadji and Trio Baritone in Trouble in Tahiti. @kyletorrence588

Charles David Carter has performed in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's critically acclaimed production of Showboat, Live from Lincoln Center's Porgy and Bess and appeared with Jessye Norman at Carnegie Hall for Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts. His classical and gospel musical pursuits have taken him around the world. https://www.operabase.com/artists/charles-david-carter-2180053/




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