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The first act of a new contemporary opera in development by New York City artists Mike Lala (librettist) and Joshua A. Getman (composer) will run for two nights only in a special production at The Tank NYC on Oct 22 and 23 at 7pm.

"Oedipus in the District" (www.oedipusinthedistrict.com), which made its opening-scene previews in 2018 at The Juilliard School and National Sawdust, and in 2019 at the Armenian National Opera, is based on Lala's translation of Sophocles' Theban play Oedipus at Colonus and features a complex, rollicking score by Joshua A. Getman. This first-act presentation will be conducted by Jesse Brault and directed by Arthur Makaryan, and will feature Terrence Chin-Loy (tenor) as Oedipus, Sarah Brownawell (soprano) as Antigone, Chadol Kim (baritone) as The Anchor, Alanna Fraize (mezzo) as the Oracle, Creon, and Ismene and Jiarong Li (pianist).

Said Lala: "We wanted to present an updated version of a classical play to new audiences, building off the momentum we started at The Juilliard School's OperaComp program. Oedipus in the District is a slant translation of Sophocles' least-known Theban play, and is fertile ground to explore themes relevant to today's troublesome news."

Said Getman: “When composing, I wanted to build a musical language that could capture the grotesque nature of some of the characters while simultaneously bringing out their human qualities. I relied on a broad pallet of musical devices ranging from lush harmonic passages, sparse and intimate piano textures, and unnerving rhythmic motors. All of the music is built out from the opening three chords and develops over the first act.”

The year is 401 B.C., or 2016 A.D. Or 2020. Oedipus, exiled from Thebes for crimes against nature, arrives on the outskirts of Athens, blind, guided by his daughter Antigone, with a Delphic plan. Bent on taking the throne (and holding the gods to their promise), Oedipus makes an offer to the people: install him as their leader, rewrite their constitution, and protect him from an investigation emerging from Thebes. In return, Oedipus will channel the gods' power to protect and raise up Athens-above cosmopolitan Thebes, above warring Persia-and above a freakish storm brewing on the horizon.

But Antigone misses glittering Thebes (and her heartthrob brother Polynices), and as Oedipus turns his sights on the city that exiled him, a prophecy extending the family curse threatens to upend his revolution. Reinventing Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus and inverting the Oedipal impulse toward female agency, Oedipus in the District is an opera about rhetoric, family, wealth, and power-how power given can't easily be taken back, and power taken can't easily be kept.

"Breaking news specials flash on the back screen of the performance. In general, Oedipus, Antigone, and The Anchor play their drama against the backdrop of television screens, flashes and spotlights - all these iconic manifestations of today. An interesting and unexpected reading of the ancient Greek tragedy [that] plunges the spectator...into complete delight!" -- Sona Meloyan, Voice of Armenia Weekly

$20 Tickets are available online at thetanknyc.org/calendar-1/oedipusinthedistrict23

Oedipus in the District is presented by THE TANK, a home for emerging artists.

312 West 36th Street, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10018-6494; Phone: 212.563.6269; www.thetanknyc.org/calendar


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