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VIDEO: Heartbeat Opera's Halloween Drag Extravaganza Opens Season At Roulette


HEARTBEAT OPERA-the daring young company whose unconventional orchestrations and stagings of classic operas have been called "a radical endeavor" by The New Yorker and "pioneering" by The New York Times-launches its fifth season with its Annual Halloween Drag Extravaganza, this year titled DRAGUS MAXIMUS, a homersexual opera odyssey.

Three performances take place at Brooklyn's hip performance venue Roulette: Friday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a late show at 10:00 p.m.

This new and original 70-minute show will take the audience on a Herculean quest to Hades and back-featuring the songs of Monteverdi, Handel, and Offenbach, plus a brand new number by Royce Vavrek and Daniel Schlosberg about Medusa.

Heartbeat's first three drag extravaganzas each celebrated a different composer: Queens of the Night: Mozart in Space; Miss Handel; and Purcell's The Fairy Queen. Last year's show, All the World's a Drag! Shakespeare in love...with opera, introduced Shakespeare himself to the operas based on his plays. This year, the theme is Greco-Roman: Aphrodite commissions Homer to create a new epic love poem.

As Homer searches for inspiration, audiences can expect appearances by the stars of Greek mythology and Roman history, including Polyphemus, Nero, the Minotaur, and the ultimate poet of love: Sappho herself. At all three performances, the audience will enjoy themed drinks and a costume contest.

Dragus Maximus features rising stars Jamilyn Manning-White (Heartbeat's Lucia), John Taylor Ward (John Eliot Gardiner's international Monteverdi tour), Nicolette Mavroleon (Pittsburg Festival Opera's La Boheme), Sara Couden (Thaïs at the Metropolitan Opera), and actors Peregrine Heard (Sheila by The Associates) and Drae Campbell (NERVE at Here).

The band consists of Jacob Ashworth (violin), Daniel Schlosberg (piano/harpsichord), Gleb Kasanevich (clarinet), Clare Monfredo (cello), and Melanie Clapies (violin). Ethan Heard directs, and Emma Crane Jaster choreographs.

Costumes, hair, and makeup are designed by Miodrag Guberinic (Amazon's The Tick), Fabian Aguilar (Westport's Romeo & Juliet), Jon Carter (LCT's King and I), and Andrew Jordan (Christopher William's Il Giardino d?Amore). Lighting is by Oliver Wason (Berkshire Theater Group's Little Shop of Horrors). Projection Design is by Shawn Boyle (peerless at Yale Repertory Theatre).

*Additional highlights of Heartbeat Opera's fifth season include: a remounting of Beethoven's Fidelio in a semi-staged concert version at Rutgers Presbyterian Church (236 West 73rd St, NYC) November 28 & 29, 2018; a new co-production of Stradella's La Susanna, with Opera Lafayette, April 21-22, 2019 at the Kennedy Center in DC, and May 2-5, 2019 at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space) in Brooklyn; and a remounting of Mozart's Don Giovanni, in a semi-staged concert version at Chamber Music North West, July 7 & 9, 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

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