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Ghostly Post-Holocaust Chamber Opera LADY OF THE CASTLE Set for TNC


Theater for the New City, Crystal Field, Executive Director, and The After Dinner Opera Company present two musical tales of Jewish humor and heartbreak. The evening of opera begins with a 20-minute curtain raiser, Seymour Barab's raucous, off-color opera vaudeville From Oy to Vey.

Following this curtain raiser is Lady of The Castle, a ghostly post-Holocaust chamber opera based on a true story and an Israeli play by Lea Goldberg with music and lyrics by Mira J. Spektor.

Lissa Moira directs a cast of five, including Darcy Dunn, Douglas McDonnell, James Parks, Bennett Pologe, and Amanda Yachechak.

Performances will be staged at the Cino Theatre at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (bet. 9th and 10th Streets), New York, NY 10003 from November 30-December 11, 2016.

From Oy to Vey is a 20-minute raucous off-color opera vaudeville curtain raiser of five select pieces from the larger work by Seymour Barab.

Lady of The Castle is set in 1947 after the Holocaust. Is there a young Jewish girl still hidden in the old castle? Based on a true story and Lea Goldberg's Israeli play, Lady of the Castle is a chamber opera about illusion, reality, love, betrayal, death and hope.

Originally commissioned and presented by Theater for the New City in 1982, Lady of The Castle has enjoyed over ten productions internationally. It has been staged in New York off-Broadway and at the JCC, on Long Island and in Massachusetts, in Berlin with support of the Anne Frank Foundation, and in London at Saint Giles Cripplegate Church in the Barbican Center as part of the Festival of Austrian Jewish Culture - produced with the artistic supervision of conductor David Josefowitz. The London concert version is available on Original Cast Recordings.

A three-piece chamber orchestra includes, Piano: Jesse Lozano; Flute: Michael Laderman; and Cello: Vivian Penham.

From Oy to Vey and Lady of The Castle are presented by Theater for the New City and The After Dinner Opera Company; Director: Lissa Moira; Musical Director: Jesse Lozano; Choreographer: Amanda Yachechak; Sets and Costume Designer: Lytza Colon; Lighting Designer: Alex Bartenieff.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by visiting 10 performances will be staged from November 30-December 10 on the following schedule: Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm & Sunday at 3pm.

About Seymour Barab (playwright/composer for From Oy to Vey) - His proclivity for musical theatre has made his operas performed often, especially his comic one-acts and those for young audiences. According to Central Opera Service, during the 1988-89 season, he was the most performed composer of opera in America. His fellow composer, Miriam Gideon, called him "the Rossini of our time." His Little Red Riding Hood was the first American opera performed in China during the post-isolationist period. His highly praised full-length Civil War opera Philip Marshall, which uses Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT as a point of departure, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Barab was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1921, and began his professional career as a church organist at the age of thirteen. Before leaving Chicago, he became a founder of the New Music Quartet, and then in New York City of the Composer's Quartet, in residence at Columbia University, whose primary purpose was to promote contemporary music. He played the viola da gamba and helped form the New York Pro Musica, one of the first contemporary ensembles to reintroduce baroque and Renaissance music. He was a member of the faculties of Rutgers University, Black Mountain College and the New England Conservatory of Music, although he was mainly self-taught in composition. Mr. Barab's musicianship included a stint at Birdland, playing in a small string orchestra accompanying Charlie Parker and Stan Getz. In the 1970s and 80s, Mr. Barab was a recording studio musician, performing on hundreds of popular recording with everyone from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra and John Lennon, as well as for television commercials and movie scores. The Toy Shop, commissioned by the New York City Opera, was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and in 1998, scenes from the Pied Piper of Hamlin were also performed there, where he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Opera Association. Mr. Barab passed away on June 28, 2014.

Composer/lyricist/poet Mira J. Spektor has written chamber music, chamber operas & musicals, including The Housewives' Cantata (lyrics by June Siegel), Lady of the Castle (based on Lea Goldberg's Israeli play), The Passion of Lizzie Borden (poems by Ruth Whitman), Villa Diodati (about Mary Shelley, lyrics by Colette Inez) and Giovanni the Fearless (A Commedia del'Arte with book & lyrics by Carolyn Balducci); recital & cabaret songs and music for theater, film and TV; a book of poems, "The Road to November"; and has recorded for Concert Hall, Westminster and Guilde International du Disque, Original Cast Records, Capstone and AirPlay. Her Chamber Opera, Villa Diodati, is now a Chamber-Opera/Film from Banks Street Films & Albany Records. Her music scores (Georgina Press - BMI) include the feature film Double Edge (Faye Dunaway) and PBS documentaries, Art in Its Soul and Serious Comics. Her recent CDs include: The Housewives' Cantata, Lady of the Castle, Mira Chante/French Love Songs, and Lullabies & Lovesongs. She is the Founder and has been the Artistic Director of The Aviva Players since 1975. She is also a member of BMI, Dramatist Guild, Opera America, League of Professional Theater Women. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and then studied at Mannes College and Juilliard School. Some quotes from The New York Times: "An interesting composer". "Attractive and tonal". "A passionate duet". "A sprightly songfest." Audio samples of Ms. Spektor's music as well as contact information can be found at

Lissa Moira (director) AEA, SAG, AFTRA is also a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, poet and artist. She more recently directed Seymour's Barab's In Questionable Taste, The Elephant Pen, Speakeasy: John and Jane's Adventures in the Wonderland, and a 35-person cast in Nicholas Nickleby: A New Musical at Theatre for the New City, an adaptation by the late Robert Sickinger. Out of 5,000 world-wide submissions, Ms. Moira's play TIME IT IS was chosen as a top ten finalist in the prestigious Chesterfield/Paramount screenwriting competition. Ms. Moira's 2007 play Before God Was Invented was an American nominee for the Susan Brownell-Smith International Playwrights Award. Ms. Moira co-wrote "Dead Canaries," a feature film starring Charles Durning, Dan Lauria, Dee Wallace Stone and Joel Higgins. With co-writer Richard West, Lissa's well known for Sexual Psychobabble and The Best S*x of the XX Century Sale. Both ran over a year and each enjoyed critical and popular success. The Moira/West team's DaDa noir musical, Who Murdered Love? featured Broadway's Luba Mason and Tracy McDowell as well as William Broderick. It originated at Theater for the New City and ran at the Players Theatre as part of the 2012 FringeNYC (Ms. Moira directed as well). Other directing/co-writing credits include Sirens Heart: Norma Jeane and Marilyn in Purgatory (which enjoyed a 14-month Off-Broadway run at The Actor's Temple), and Tom Jones a new musical (Bloomberg Radio declared the directing "beautiful, fine and fresh"). Of her directing work on Cocaine Dreams, a play about Freud at The Kraine Theatre, the New York Post raved "inspired."

Theater for the New City is a Pulitzer Prize winning cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Vin Diesel, Oscar Nuñez, Laurence Holder, Romulus Linney and Academy Award Winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, The Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and COBU, the Japanese women's drumming and dance group. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company's 1997 production of BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 42 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

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