Stephen Salters, Lori-Kaye Miller & More to Star in World Premiere of THE SUMMER KING at Merrill Auditorium, 5/8

April 3, 2014

Portland Ovations, in collaboration with the USM School of Music and American Opera Projects, Brooklyn, NY, presents the world premiere of The Summer King, an Opera on the Life of Josh Gibson, at Merrill Auditorium on Thursday, May 8th at 7:30 pm. The Summer King, composed by Portland resident Daniel Sonenberg, features a talented cast known for their performances around the world. The May 8th concert, an Ovations commission, is The Summer King‘s world premiere.

Daniel Sonenberg, associate professor and resident composer at USM, and a lifelong baseball fan, was drawn to the heartbreaking saga of Negro League ball and became especially interested in the great catcher Josh Gibson. The Summer King portrays the injustice Gibson suffered at the hands of baseball’s “Gentlemen’s Agreement” and also the thriving culture, characterized by black-owned teams, stadiums and taverns, nightlife and humor.

Sonenberg-5Composer Daniel Sonenberg

The cast – which includes singers and instrumentalists based in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Maine, Brussels and Frankfurt – is led by maestro Steven Osgood, an assistant conductor at The Metropolitan Opera. Osgood also created and was artistic director for American Opera Project’s nationally recognized Composers & the Voice Workshop Series, where the first scene of The Summer King had its beginnings. Working closely with Osgood, Chicago native Lemuel Wade is directing the presentation. Wade brings an international, critically acclaimed career as a singer/dancer to his craft as a stage director.

gibsonpaintingStephen Salters, baritone, who has performed throughout Europe, the UK, Asia and the United States, will perform the role of Josh Gibson. Salters, who currently resides in Belgium, is well known to Boston audiences especially for his work in a variety of musical mediums including recital, oratorio, opera and orchestra soloist. Salters created the title role in Elena Ruehr’s Toussaint Before the Spirits for Opera Boston. He has also appeared at Tanglewood Opera National in Bordeaux.

Lori-Kaye Miller, mezzo-soprano, has performed with New York City Opera, and made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the New England Symphony Ensemble. Miller will perform the roles of Grace – Gibson’s lover in later years – as well as the Elder Barber’s Wife. Miller currently lives in Germany and is coming to the US specifically for the premiere presentation.

Kenneth Kellogg, bass, who has performed with Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and San Francisco Opera, will perform the role of Sam Bankhead, Gibson’s friend and teammate.

Supporting cast includes Jorell Willams as Younger Barber and Cool Papa Bell; Cameo Humes as Elder Barber and Gus Greenlee; Rishi Rane as Wendell Smith; Patrick Miller as Radio Announcer, Clark Griffith and Branch Rickey; Christian Figueroa as Scribe and Alcalde; Candice Hoyes as Helen Gibson and Hattie; Kyle Guglielmo as Calvin Griffith; Martin Bakari as Trash Talking Player and Double Duty Radcliffe.

Maine-based singers include the revered Malcolm Smith as Commissioner Landis; Virgil Bozeman as Judy Johnson; and Matthew LaBerge, Aaren Rivard and Joshua Witham as Mariachi Singers.

The Orchestra musicians reside in Maine, with the exception of Greg Simonds, who lives in Massachusetts. Over half of the musicians are on faculty at the University of Southern Maine. The Orchestra includes: Krysia Tripp, flute and piccolo; Thomas Parchman, clarinet, eb and bass clarinet; Barry Saunders, soprano and tenor saxophone; Wren Saunders, Bassoon and Contra Bassoon; Sophie Flood, horn; Elizabeth Rines, trumpet; Mark Tipton, trumpet; Tom Michaud, bass trombone; Greg Simonds, percussion; John Mehrmann, percussion; Anastasia Antonacos, piano; Robert Lehmann, violin; Ferdinand Liva, violin; Kimberly Lehmann, viola; Benjamin Noyes, cello; George Calvert, bass; Don Pride, guitar.

Two Maine choirs, Vox Nova Chamber Choir and the Boy Singers of Maine, will also perform in The Summer King. Vox Nova Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr. Shannon M. Chase, is comprised of 36-40 mixed voices from the Midcoast and Southern Maine musical communities. The Boy Singers of Maine Concert Choir, directed by Jesse Wakeman, consists of boys from Southern Maine who range in age from 8 through 14.

Tickets for The Summer King range from $32 to $38 for Ovations’ Members and $35 to $42 for the general public. A limited number of student tickets are available for $10. To purchase tickets visit, call PortTIX at 207.842.0800 or go to the box office window at Merrill Auditorium.

Support for The Summer King is generously provided by the Center for Cultural Exchange Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Maine Arts Commission, Fund for Performing Arts in Maine of the Maine Community Foundation, the Composer Assistance Program of New Music USA, and Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust. The Summer King is commissioned by Portland Ovations.

AOP C&V Alums: Proving that “music career” is not an oxymoron

March 27, 2014

Perla. Vrebalov. Redler & Cooper. Karlsson.

What do these five names all have in common? (Well, besides making great names for law firms, super-spies, or swanky bars.)

Answer: They all participated in AOP’s Composers & the Voice! Our C&V artists are everywhere, utilizing the irreplaceable skills they learned during C&V’s one-year intensive in how to write for the operatic voice.

To name a few (or rather, several):

Jack Perla’s (C&V ‘07-08) new opera Jonah and the Whale premiered at LA Opera this past weekend, and this Friday Alexandra Vrebalov (C&V ’02-03) kicks off Kronos Quartet’s 40th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall.

C&V alums Mikael Karlsson, Sara Cooper, and Zach Redler failed to win any medals at Sochi this year and will have to be satisfied with their music prizes.

C&V alums Mikael Karlsson, Sara Cooper, and Zach Redler failed to win any medals at Sochi this year and will have to be satisfied with their music prizes.

Zach Redler and Sara Cooper were awarded the 2014 Jonathan Larson Grant while their fellow C&V ‘11-12 alum Mikael Karlsson picked up the Wladimir and Rhoda Lakond Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Rounding out C&V ’11-12 is Ronnie Reshef, who won the Yardena Alotin Composition Competition for her 2010 piece Suicide (after Grosz), and Robert Paterson, whose robot-opera The Companion is debuting at Roulette this April…not to be confused with Rachel Peters’ baguette-opera Companionship, which just finished at the Manhattan School of Music, and has a reading at the John Duffy Composers Institute this May. Ronnie and Rob also turn up at Fort Worth Opera’s Frontiers festival with two C&V-developed works, also in May.

An early AOP workshop of The Summer King, held on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. Daniel Sonenberg's opera has its concert premiere in May.

An early AOP workshop of The Summer King, held on a sidewalk in Brooklyn. Daniel Sonenberg’s opera has its concert premiere in May. Indoors, even! Progress!

And in case your May isn’t busy enough, Daniel Sonenberg’s (C&V ’02-03) The Summer King gets its world premiere at Portland Ovations. In late April, Hannah Lash’s (C&V ’05-06) This Ease premieres with the LA Chamber Orchestra.

Last month, Andrew Staniland (C&V ’07-08) won the 2014 Harry Freedman Recording Award. In the past year, Gregory Spears’s (C&V ’07-08) opera Paul’s Case has had three different runs (Pittsburgh Opera, PROTOTYPE, and Urban Arias). Stefan Weisman’s (C&V ’03-04) family opera The Scarlet Ibis is slated for PROTOTYPE 2015.

The latest group of composers who will be filling up your concert calendar. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky.

The latest group of composers who will be filling up your concert calendar. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky.

From this year’s class of super-composers, Gity Razaz was awarded the 2013 Jerome Fund Prize for her concert length vocal piece Abraham in Flames/Elegies of the Earth, which will be presented by VisionIntoArt at The Stone this May. Guy Barash released his debut album Facts About Water on innova recordings. Joseph Rubinstein will have select choral pieces available through See-A-Dot Music Publishing in the coming months.

Not to mention that Jason Kim (C&V ’13-14 librettist) was hired to write for HBO’s Girls, and Daniel Felsenfeld (C&V ’06-07) has worked with everyone from writers Robert Coover, Will Eno, and Wesley Stace to hip-hoppers Jay-Z and The Roots…with those trail-blazing ladies Nora and Alice thrown in there for good measure.

This is just a fraction of our alums’ successes. And that’s not even counting the dozens of operas and concerts that our Resident Singers appear in every month! (Trust us, that would be one crazy calendar.)

This is the future of new music. You heard it here first, and here’s where you can hear it next.

Baseball Opera “The Summer King” Scores NEA Grant

December 19, 2013

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced that the University of Southern Maine has received an NEA Art Works grant for its upcoming May 2014 premiere of the baseball opera The Summer King, created by former C&V composer Daniel Sonenberg and developed by AOP.

"Broadway" Connie Rector (Franklin Westbrooks) looks in amazement at Josh Gibson's (Kenneth Overton) homer out of Yankee Stadium in an early AOP workshop of THE SUMMER KING.

“Broadway” Connie Rector (Franklin Westbrooks) looks in amazement at Josh Gibson’s (Kenneth Overton) homer out of Yankee Stadium in an early AOP workshop of THE SUMMER KING.

The Summer King follows the life and untimely death of “the Black Babe Ruth”, Negro League home run king Josh Gibson, in this new opera from composer/librettist Daniel Sonenberg and co-librettist Daniel Nestor. AOP will present a rare insight into the evolution of an opera with a full day of libretto readings, musical workshops, and an evening concert of scenes at OPERA America New Works Forum on January 15, 2014. 

From USM Newsletters:

Sonenberg, a University of Southern Maine (USM) associate professor of music at USM’s School of Music, has been notified that he is the recipient of a $15,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant in opera. His opera, titled “The Summer King,” will be performed in concert on May 8, 2014, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, in collaboration with Portland Ovations.

Scenes and excerpts from “The Summer King” already have been performed at Fort Worth Opera, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and USM to excellent reviews.

In January 2014, the Opera America New Works Forum in New York City, in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based company American Opera Projects, will present a preview of “The Summer King” in a daylong series of events, including a libretto reading by actors, a piano-vocal performance of three scenes and then an orchestral performance of the same three scenes. Each of these events will be followed by discussion with the audience, which will consist of opera professionals from throughout the country….


Read full article at the website of University of Southern Maine

The Summer King, Judgment of Midas, and Paul’s Case to be featured in the Spring

October 29, 2013
The Summer King, Judgment of Midas, and Paul's Case

The Summer King, Judgment of Midas, and Paul’s Case

OPERA America will be presenting The Summer King and Judgment of Midas as part of their New Works Forum, a series of showcases of works-in-progress and recent premieres. Now in its third year, the New Works Forum will take place January 12-15, 2014 in the Audition Recital Hall at the National Opera Center in New York City. Panel discussions will accompany performances and explore the developmental process.

The Summer King (music by Daniel Sonenberg, libretto by Sonenberg & Daniel Nester) covers the legacy of Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson. Dubbed “the black Babe Ruth”, Gibson was the second Negro League player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The opera explores the racial tensions surrounding black-owned teams and delves into the stadium culture of the 1930s. The Summer King will have its world premiere with Portland Ovations in May 2014.

Judgment of Midas (music by Kamran Ince, libretto by Miriam Seidel) takes as its starting point a series of mythical musical contests said to have taken place on Mount Tmolus, Turkey. Witnessed by King Midas, the contests pit the gods Pan and Apollo against each other in a struggle between ‘street’ music and ‘high’ music. Judgment of Midas had its world premiere in Milwaukee with Present Music in April, 2013.

The 2014 New Works Forum has been scheduled to coincide with PROTOTYPE Festival, presented by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects. Paul’s Case (music by Gregory Spears, libretto by Spears and Kathryn Walat), will be among the works featured at PROTOTYPE. Originating from AOP’s Composers and the Voice program, the opera follows the story of Paul, a high school dandy living in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh who runs away to revel in the luxuries of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Performances at the New Works Forum are only open to OPERA America members. Previous AOP operas featured at the forum include Heart of Darkness, The Golden Gate, and Wolf-in-Skins. PROTOTYPE Festival is open to the public.

Meet the Cast You WON’T See at THE BLIND

June 26, 2013

Curious about who you’ll be hearing at AOP and Lincoln Center Festival’s co-production of The Blind from July 9-14? While their vocal talent goes without saying, we think they’re a pretty good-lookin’ cast to boot…browse the list below, or jump to a name using one of the following quick-links!

Yulia Van Doren
Sarah Brailey
Faith Sherman
Barbara Rearick
Nicole Mitchell
Rosalie Sullivan

Dominic Armstrong
John McVeigh
Kyle Pfortmiller
David Schmidt
Branch Fields
Liam Moran

Dominic Armstrong (Tenor) was heard during the 2012-13 season with the New York City Opera as Prologue and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and made debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at Carnegie Hall as Steve in Prévin’s A Streetcar Named Desire. He has also recently sung Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki with Chicago Opera Theatre, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Memphis Opera, and Remendado in Carmen at the Castleton Festival. He has also sung Flavio in Norma and Borsa in Rigoletto with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the title role of La Clemenza di Tito at Chicago Opera Theatre, Parpignol in La Bohème at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Reverend Horace Adams in Peter Grimes and  Heinrich in Tannhaüser in Turin, Count Almaviva in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Festival, the title role of Candide and as Ulisse in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at the Wolf Trap Opera, and Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore in Hong Kong. He was Grand Finalist in the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  AOP credits include Composers and the Voice resident ensemble (2013-2014).

Sarah Brailey (Soprano) is sought-after in a broad and varied repertoire that ranges from the baroque to the present day. Recent highlights include solo performances at Alice Tully Hall in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the American Classical Orchestra and Handel’s Messiah with the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. She has also recently sung Bach’s St. John Passion with the Boulder Bach Festival and his St. Matthew Passion at Trinity Wall Street. Highlights of next season include a tour with experimental a cappella vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and appearances with composer/performer John Zorn in New York City, England’s Huddersfield Festival, and Australia’s Adelaide Festival. AOP credits include The Scarlet Ibis.

Branch Fields (Bass) has performed with a number of opera companies in the U.S., including the Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, and Opera San Jose. He has also been heard in concert, with the Munich Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and American Symphony Orchestra. He recently sang Emile de Becque in South Pacific with the Utah Festival Opera and at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Highlights of his 2012-13 season include Don Alfonso in Cosí fan tutte, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette in Bozeman, Montana; a benefit performance for the Open Heart Foundation of Tim Janis’ The Christmas Rose at Carnegie Hall; Sarastro in The Magic Flute for Opera on the James in Lynchburg, Virginia; and Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust in Fort Collins. AOP credits include Paul’s Case.

John McVeigh (Tenor) is heard during the 2013-14 season as Pang in Turandot with Hawaii Opera Theatre and returns to Houston Grand Opera for productions of Carmen and Das Rheingold. Recent operatic appearances include Goro in Madama Butterfly with PORTopera; Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Colorado; Acis in Acis and Galatea at the Macau International Music Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, and Detroit Oratorio Society; Emilio in Handel’s Partenope at Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera; Pang with Arizona Opera; Lurcanio in Ariodante at New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera; and productions of Das Rheingold, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Billy Budd at the Metropolitan Opera. Recent concert engagements include Haydn’s Creation with the Portland Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Winston Salem Symphony, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; Acis with Amsterdam’s Concert Radio Kamer Filharmonie; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Dallas Symphony; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Memphis Symphony; and Handel’s L’allegro at the Kennedy Center with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Nicole Mitchell (Mezzo-soprano) is a native of Brooklyn and has performed regularly with AOP and The Walt Whitman Project promoting the works of New York composers, including Gilda Lyons’ Songs from the F Train cycle at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. She has also sung Tituba in Robert Ward’s The Crucible with New York City Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Piedmont Opera. In 2008, while a Tanglewood Vocal Fellow (2008), she sang in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Earlier this year she was heard in recital at Brooklyn Navy Yard Center’s BLDG 92 Museum. AOP credits include Songs from the F Train and This Is the Rill Speaking.

Liam Moran (Bass) was heard this season at Opera Omaha as Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata, Annapolis Opera as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Kentucky Opera as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and at New York’s St. Thomas Church and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in Handel’s Messiah. During the 2013-14 season he will sing Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and Gualtiero in I Puritani with Boston Lyric Opera and the Mozart Requiem with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.



Kyle Pfortmiller (Baritone) made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Marquis d’Obigny in a new production of La Traviata in 2010, and has also recently sung Papageno in The Magic Flute with Opera Carolina, and Valentin in Faust, Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady with Utah Festival Opera and Music Theater. Next season he returns to the Met for Andrea Chénier and the company premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. AOP credits include Brahms, Barber, and John Adams with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.

Rearick Barbara smBarbara Rearick (Mezzo-Soprano) has sung with the orchestras of Houston, Baltimore, Hallé, and Berlin’s Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (with whom she recorded Kurt Weill’s The Eternal Road). In 2011 she sang Mark Anthony Turnage’s Twice Through the Heart for the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNow series. She is a founding member of the Britten-Pears Ensemble, a London-based chamber group specializing in contemporary works. With the late Richard Rodney Bennett, she gave recitals at festivals and venues throughout the US and UK including Wigmore Hall and at the Aldeburgh Festival. She has also appeared on BBC World Service Radio, WQXR, and NPR and is on the voice faculty at Princeton University.

Schmidt DavidDavid Schmidt (Baritone) has performed a broad range of opera, concert, and musical theater on stages throughout the US and Italy. He joined the Metropolitan Opera Chorus this past summer for performances of Parsifal and Götterdämmerung. At Italy’s Spoleto Festival, he sang the premiere performance of an aria composed for a new production of The Telephone directed by composer Gian Carlo Menotti. He has also sung with the Nashville Opera, Anchorage Opera, Opera Memphis, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Des Moines Metro Opera, Missouri Symphony, and National Opera Company. AOP credits include OPERAtion Brooklyn and The Scarlet Ibis.

Faith Sherman (Mezzo-soprano) made her European debut at the English National Opera as the Pilgrim in Kaijia Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, and has also sung Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony at the Aspen Music Festival, Concepcion in L’heure espagnole at Oper Frankfurt; Beatrice in Berlioz’ Béatrice et Bénédict at Houston Grand Opera, and in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Rappahannock County at Virginia Opera. She is an alumna of the Juilliard School and Houston Grand Opera Studio Program.

Sullivan, RosalieRosalie Sullivan (Mezzo-soprano) has performed with AOP, Opera Orchestra of New York, Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, and as soloist at Carnegie Hall with MidAmerica Productions. Recent appearances include Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch’s Tesla in New York with American Contemporary Music Ensemble, David Jackson’s staged song cycle Model Love, and works by Paul Moravec, Mark Adamo, Martin Hennessy, Stephen Paulus, and Gerald Busby. Operatic highlights include Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, Dorabella and Despina in Così fan tutte, Carmen and Mercedes in Carmen, and Zenobia in Radamisto. She has been a recipient of honors and awards from the Santa Fe Opera, the Merola Opera Board, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the A E Ventures Foundation. AOP credits include Love/Hate, Patience & Sarah, and Model Love.

Yulia Van Doren (Soprano) has recently sung with the Nashville Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and City of London Sinfonia. She has also sung Monsigny’s  Le roi et le fermier at Opera de Versailles, Lincoln Center, and Washington’s Kennedy Center, Scarlatti’s Tigrane at Opera de Nice, and made her Carnegie Hall debut in a new work by Angel Lam. A specialist in baroque repertoire she has sung at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Tanglewood Festival (Handel’s Orlando with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra); Kennedy Center (Charpentier’s Actéon with Opera Lafayette); Macao International Music Festival (Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Berlin’s Akademie für Alte Musik); and Houston and Baltimore Symphonies (Handel’s Messiah). She made her debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebou with Radio Kamer Filharmonie as Galatea in Acis and Galatea and has sung Belinda in multiple tours of Dido and Aeneas (choreographed and directed by Mark Morris) and St. Teresa in Morris’ production of Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Millay Poetry Inspires June AOP Premiere

May 3, 2013

poster for Sympony Space

New York, NY– AOP (American Opera Projects), The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society, ClaverackLanding, and Symphony Space co-present a world premiere performance of Beauty Intolerable, a collection of love songs composed by Sheila Silver based on the poetry of iconoclast and libertine Edna St. Vincent Millay and performed by a trio of operatic chanteuses. The songs are accompanied with poetry recitations by actresses Tyne Daly (June 8) and Tandy Cronyn (June 13). The song cycle will be presented on June 8 at 6 PM at First Presbyterian Church: 4th & Warren Streets, Hudson, NY 12534. A Manhattan premiere follows on June 13 at 7:30 PM at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space. Tickets will be available through the venues’ websites. A limited number of tickets to the Symphony Space performance which include VIP seating and a reception with the artists are available for $75 at AOP’s website.

The concert will feature soprano Lauren Flanigan (La Scala, Santa Fe, Metropolitan and New York City Operas),  mezzo-soprano Deanne Meek (Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Metropolitan Opera), and soprano Risa Renae Harman (New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera), with Kelly Horsted and Christopher Cooley on piano. Each performance is accompanied with poetry recitations by guest actresses Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey and Judging Amy), and Tandy Cronyn (Once Upon a Time in America and The Story Lady).

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright known for her sensual poetic depictions of her love affairs. Receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the Frost Medal for her lifetime contribution to American poetry, her work championed feminist activism. Born in Rockland, Maine, Millay moved to New York City, living a vibrant life with fellow writers in Greenwich Village. The New York Times described her as “an idol of the younger generation during the glorious early days of Greenwich Village […] One of the greatest American poets of her time.” Beauty Intolerable has been developed in collaboration with the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society.

Two World Premieres and many, many raves

May 2, 2013

April has been busy and gratifying for AOP and we are just about a third of the way through our 25th year (stay tuned for announcements about anniversary events). Just as we finished up workshops for our upcoming July premiere of The Blind at Lincoln Center Festival, two AOP-developed works received their world premieres at regional opera companies. Even better, they are resounding successes. AOP develops new work and partners with companies across the country because of leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and many generous individuals.


Present Music and Milwaukee Opera Theater co-produced Judgment of Midas on April 12 & 13. The extravagant, Turkish influenced music by composer Kamran Ince supplies “an orgiastic climax as crazed and hair-raising as anything I’ve heard in all of opera” ( It is a large scale comedy with six principles and a small chorus.

UrbanArias began two week premiere run of a chamber opera, Paul’s Case, at Artisphere in Arlington, VA (Washington, DC) on April 20. Based on a story by Willa Cather, Paul’s Case is

“…an arresting little piece that communicates its haunting story with clarity and a sense of inevitability.” (The Washington Post)

“Composer Gregory Spears combines minimalism, baroque gestures, and extended vocal techniques into a distinctive and pungent musical language . . . the overall pacing is taut, the nine-piece orchestration vivid and the denouement appropriately wrenching.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“The words ‘world premiere’ don’t always translate to ‘Must-See,’ but in the case of Paul’s Case… they’re synonymous.” (DC Metro Theater Arts)

“…the piece is nearly ready to claim a place in the chamber opera repertoire – thanks to a long-haul development process for which American Opera Projects deserves much credit.” (Arts Journal)


Visit AOP First Chance to follow the next round of operas on their way to premiere productions!


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