AOP stalwart soprano “rich, bright, crackling with electricity”

November 23, 2008
Soprano Caroline Worra with composer Stephen Schwartz at the AOP workshop for Schwartz's "Seance on a Wet Afternoon."

Soprano Caroline Worra with composer Stephen Schwartz at the AOP workshop for Schwartz's "Seance on a Wet Afternoon."

Longtime AOP supporter, Composers & the Voice singer, and all around powerhouse performer Caroline Worra was singled out in a November issue of TimeOut NY – the weekly mag of events and all things hip in New York City. In a section called “We Got Next”, the mag asks a bevy of notable artists to “give a nod to the rising stars they’re watching.” And according to opera composer (and C&V composer chair) Mark Adamo, that rising star is Ms. Worra who he lauds as “an immaculate musician.” Read the full article here.

Alvin Singleton commemorates Revolutionary War memorial with new composition

November 11, 2008
Composer Alvin Singleton

Composer Alvin Singleton

This weekend, composer Alvin Singleton will premiere “Brooklyn Bones,” a choral and orchestral piece written exclusively for the 100th anniversary of the 1908 dedication of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument – one of the most important and sacred memorials in our country. The majestic, Stanford White-designed Prison Ship Martyrs Monument which stands in the heart of Fort Greene Park in Fort Greene, Brooklyn (home of American Opera Projects) honors over 11,500 Prisoners of War who perished for the cause of freedom aboard British prison ships during the American Revolutionary War of Independence. Remains of the Prison Ship Martyrs are interred in a crypt beneath the Monument.

On Saturday, November 15th, after a full day of free family events in Fort Greene Park celebrating the anniversary, a Reception and Benefit for the Fort Greene Park Conservancy will be held in the lobby of nearby Brooklyn Tech High School, with food and entertainment, followed by the 7:30 PM premier performance of Singleton’s “Brooklyn Bones.” The Brooklyn Tech Reception and Benefit is open to the public with a $25 per person donation to the Conservancy.

AOP sponsored an afternoon of educational outreach with Mr. Singleton last month when he visited music students at Brooklyn High School of the Arts to discuss his composition of the piece.

Learn more about the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument and the Centennial Celebration here.

Animals come to life in George Plimpton children’s opera

November 11, 2008

AOP founder Grethe Barrett Holby‘s Family Opera Initiative will present a concert reading of the children’s opera Animal Tales the afternoons of Nov 11, 13, & 14 in New York City. Animal Tales features music by Kitty Brazelton with a book and lyrics by the late George Plimpton. According to Holby:

ANIMAL TALES is a fable about the finding the gumption to try one’s wings and the different directions the journey can take. George Plimpton wrote ANIMAL TALES for the very young, and the young at heart.” The message? Go out there and find it, do it, or create it, as did the consummate adventurer, George Plimpton, his entire life. A full length musical-opera, ANIMAL TALES explores cultural crossovers and infuses American musical idioms into classical structures, integrating classically trained, R&B and jazz vocal styles, DJ turntable, and Latin percussion.

Tuesday November 11th at 3pm, Thursday November 13th at 4pm, and Friday November 14th at 1pm at Chelsea Studios, 151 W. 26th Street, NYC (Between 6th and 7th Avenues). Guests are also welcome at the Special Benefit Concert, Sunday November 16th 7pm (also at Chelsea). For reservations please contact: or call (212) 431-7039 for further information.

Holby developed Animal Tales at several AOP workshops during her years as Artistic Director of the company.

Martín’s “Before Night Falls” to premiere at Fort Worth Opera

November 7, 2008

Jorge Martin

Jorge Martín

Fort Worth Opera has announced that it will present the World Premiere of Jorge Martín‘s opera Before Night Falls as part of its 2010 Festival.  The opera is based on the autobiography of the same title by Reinaldo Arenas, a Cuban poet, novelist and playwright who was an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro’s regime. AOP produced several workshops of the first act of the opera at Dance Theatre Workshop and at the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center.

From the press release:

Darren K. Woods, general director of Fort Worth Opera, first learned of Before Night Falls in 2005 after American Opera Projects in New York presented piano readings from the then unfinished opera as part of the Cuban Arts Festival. … “As soon as we saw Before Night Falls at the workshop, my team and I knew this was an opportunity we didn’t want to pass up,” said Woods. “I told Jorge [Martín] that night that we wanted to do the world premiere in Fort Worth.”

Read entire press release here.

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