Opera San José Announces New Digital Space, Kicking Off With DICHTERLIEBE In July

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Opera San José announces plans to create the Fred Heiman Digital Media Studio, a new performance/film space that will enable the company to stream high-quality, fully-produced operatic performances into the living rooms of patrons. The Fred Heiman Digital Media Studio is made possible by a generous lead donation from Opera San José trustee Peggy Heiman in honor of her late husband, devoted Opera San José supporter Fred Heiman.

The company will offer up a series of performances headlined by OSJ's 2020/21 Resident Artists, including concerts, recitals, in-conversation events, master classes, artist meet & greets, and fully produced operas created specifically for digital broadcast. This new digital studio series launches with Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe ('A Poet's Love') song cycle performed by Resident Artist baritone Eugene Brancoveanu and Resident Artist conductor Christopher Ray on piano, available to stream beginning July 11, 2020.

For more information, the public can visit operasj.org or call (408) 437-4450 (open Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm). Pre-show lectures and post-show In-Conversation events with the artists will be offered on select dates.

In announcing this exciting new performance space, to be located at Opera San José headquarters on Paragon Drive in San Jose, General Director Khori Dastoor noted, "At the core of our mission is the support and development of a dynamic cohort of emerging artists, and we will continue to fulfill that mission during the current pandemic. With this new space we will be able to safely perform smaller scale operas with theatrical lighting, sets, and appropriate musical accompaniment, utilizing state-of-the-art cameras and audio equipment to create works that can be enjoyed by at-home audiences. This thrilling new venture will enable us to continue our work as an incubator for emerging artists and producer of accessible, world-class operatic performances, while maintaining mitigation efforts to avoid the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)."

Added Dastoor, "Our immensely gifted resident company of artists will remain with us for the duration of this crisis, creating exciting programming and maintaining our invaluable connection to one another."

The inaugural presentation, Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe ('A Poet's Love'), is a perennial favorite of the art song genre. This masterpiece of German lieder follows the joys and agonies of love, employing vivid, poetic imagery to weave an intimate, heart-wrenching tale of the harrowing, emotionally cathartic journey from the first blush of new love to its soul-searing loss. Resident baritone Eugene Brancoveanu, who will perform this work, says, "This piece has a very special place in my heart. The timeless beauty of the work speaks for itself, ranging in tone from minimalist to a full orchestral-sounding polyphony of boisterous emotions and eruptions. The technical demands are tremendous."

Opera San José remains committed to bringing its audience the stunning, vibrant productions announced for its 2020/21 season (Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Bizet's Carmen, Strauss' Salome, and Bernstein and Sondheim's West Side Story). Originally scheduled to begin performances in September, the company anticipates the fall operas will be rescheduled, in accordance with best practices to mitigate additional outbreaks of COVID-19. A new performance schedule for Opera San José's 2021 season will be announced in the coming months as the company works to secure new dates and safely reopen the California Theatre, in accordance with health officials and Santa Clara County guidelines.

Opera San José is a professional, regional opera company that is unique in the United States. Maintaining a resident company of artists and supporting emerging talent in role debuts, Opera San José specializes in showcasing the finest young professional singers in the nation. In addition to mainstage performances, Opera San José maintains extensive educational programs in schools and in the community at large and offers preview lectures and Introduction to Opera talks for all mainstage productions.

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