THE FAMILY ROOM Plays the Berlind Theater, 7/23 & 7/24


July 23, 2011 at 2 PM; July 24, 2011 at 7 PM
The Berlind Theater, McCarter Theatre Center / 91 University Place / Princeton, NJ 08540

Staged Reading presented by American Opera Projects and Opera New Jersey
Starring Lauren Flanigan and Catherine Malfitano
Composed by Thomas Pasatieri
Libretto by Daphne Malfitano
Directed by Scott Schwartz

American Opera Projects (AOP) and Opera New Jersey reunite sopranos Lauren Flanigan and Catherine Malfitano in The Family Room, a new one-act opera written especially for them by composer Thomas Pasatieri (The Seagull ) with an original libretto by Daphne Malfitano. The dark drama tells the story of two nameless women living in a windowless studio who speak of dinner parties and relatives, of husbands and love and a child named Georgie, but their only company is ominous sounds from above. The staged reading of this opera-in-development is directed by Scott Schwartz (Séance on a Wet Afternoon) with piano accompaniment by Chris Cooley and will be followed by a talk-back session with the artists. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the McCarter Theatre box office at (609) 258-ARTS (2787) or online at

The Family Room marks the first time Lauren Flanigan and Catherine Malfitano have starred together in an opera since the premiere of William Bolcom's The Wedding in 2004. It is also the first libretto from playwright Daphne Malfitano, and the first time working on a project with her mother Catherine. Composer Thomas Pasatieri has written numerous new operas for both singing actresses including Frau Margot and Monologues for Ms. Flanigan and Washington Square and The Seagull for Ms. Malfitano.

Opera lovers can make The Family Room part of a double bill with Opera NJ's mainstage productions in The McCarter Theatre - the Rossini favorite, The Barber of Seville on July 23 at 8 PM or Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul on July 24 at 2 PM.

Lauren Flanigan - Named by TIME Magazine as "the thinking man's diva" and awarded by ACSAP and the Center for Contemporary Opera for her commitment to performing the works of living composers, soprano Lauren Flanigan has firmly established herself as a unique musical presence in the world today.

Catherine Malfitano, Singer, Actor, Director, and Teacher, has sung an eclectic, wide-ranging, and glamorous repertoire of over seventy roles, encompassing the entirety of operatic history from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Thomas Pasatieri - Among his 22 operas are La Divina (1966), Padrevia (1967), Black Widow (1972), The Trial of Mary Lincoln (1972), Signor Deluso (1974), Washington Square (1976), Before Breakfast (1980), Three Sisters (1986), and his best known work, The Seagull (1972), which received its world premiere recording in 2003 (Albany Records).

Daphne Malfitano has written two full-length plays, Ballad for the Obsolete, and A Good Man, as well as a one-act, Paternus.

Scott Schwartz - Scott Schwartz directed Golda's Balcony, the longest running one woman show in Broadway history. Schwartz directed his first opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera.


American Opera Projects (AOP), located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is an opera company devoted to the development of innovative opera and to supporting the work of living composers and librettists. Since our beginning in 1988, AOP has forged a home in the new opera scene, emphasizing the involvement of the audience in the creative process and the commissioning of works that speak to contemporary America. AOP furthers these goals through its extensive partnerships including Galapagos Art Space, Opera New Jersey, Florentine Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Glimmerglass Opera, Fort Greene Park Conservancy, OperaGenesis at London's Royal Opera House, and Berkeley West Edge Opera, among others. AOP has presented over 15 world premiere operas including Lee Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking (2008), Stefan Weisman's Darkling (2006), and Paula Kimper's Patience & Sarah (1998). Recent productions of AOP-developed projects include Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011) and the world premiere of Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010). Upcoming in 2011: AOP-developed "Peter Quince at the Clavier" at Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, World Premiere of Tarik O'Regan's Heart of Darkness at The Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio and Opera Grows in Brooklyn at Galapagos Art Space in September.

Opera New Jersey is the Garden State's largest and busiest opera company. Founded in 2002, the company is based in Princeton, but provides opera, outreach, and education programs throughout the state. Opera New Jersey presents a summer season of opera and concerts in Princeton's McCarter Theatre Center in July. The company also partners with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in February for performances of an opera in Princeton, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and other venues throughout the state. The company also runs the nationally recognized Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artist's program, providing training and performance opportunities for singers at the Early Stages of their professional careers. Opera New Jersey's innovative "Interact with Classics" programs bring operatic adaptations into schools in an interactive and participatory experience to introduce young people to opera. The Company's education programs also extend to adults through partnerships with local schools and communities. Opera New Jersey's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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