AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS PREMIERES AS ONE, A CHAMBER OPERA FOR TWO VOICES

July 3, 2014

 BY LAURA KAMINSKY, KIMBERLY REED, AND MARK CAMPBELL, AT BAM FISHER, SEPTEMBER 4-7, 2014

With mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and Baritone Kelly Markgraf sharing the role of the transgender protagonist, and featuring the Fry Street quartet

 AsOne_Acosta WP image

BROOKLYN, NYAOP (American Opera Projects) announces the world premiere of As One, with music and concept by AOP’s newly-named composer in residence Laura Kaminsky, and with an original libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. With compassion, candor, and humor, As One chronicles the experiences of a transgender person as she emerges into harmony with herself and the world around her. Performances take place at BAM Fisher (321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217) from September 4 and 6 at 7:30 pm, and September 7 at 3 pm. Tickets are $25 and will go on sale in mid-July at BAM.org/AsOne.

A monodrama for two voices sharing one central role, AOP commissioned the one-act chamber opera specifically for internationally-acclaimed singers (and real-life husband and wife) Kelly Markgraf, baritone, and Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano, who share the role of the protagonist. The production is directed by Ken Cazan, with music direction by Steven Osgood, and features the Utah-based Fry Street Quartet. The production design by David Jacques includes film by transgender filmmaker Kimberly Reed, director of the award-winning documentary, Prodigal Sons. Costume design is by Sara Jean Tosetti.The performance is the culmination of AOP’s participation in the BAM Professional Development Program, a professional training program led by BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center.

 

Free panel discussions with the artists will take place after the September 4 (“Creating As One,” moderator TBA) and September 7 performances (“Gender Identity in As One,” moderated by Jean Malpas, Director, Gender and Family Project at the Ackerman Institute for the Family).

 

A second production of As One will take place at the Caine School of the Arts at Utah State University in April, 2015.

 

ABOUT AS ONE:

 

For many years composer Laura Kaminsky has concerned herself with political and social issues in her music. Her compositions have included works about the natural world and environment (Rising Tide; Terra Terribilis), political and social issues (Vukovar Trio; And Trouble Came: An African AIDS Diary), and works which have been inspired by visual art concepts and artists (Cadmium Yellow, The Full Range of Blue). As a married lesbian, Kaminsky was intrigued by a 2008 article in the New York Times about the legal implications of a marriage in which one of the parties transitioned from male to female, which transformed the couple from hetero- to homo- sexual. For Kaminsky, the story also raised questions about self-identity, including what one is willing to give up in order to simply be oneself. It prompted her first ideas for a musical theater work on the topic. In 2011 Kaminsky saw Kimberly Reed’s documentary film, Prodigal Sons, the story of Reed, a transgender woman, and her return home to Montana for her high school reunion. The composer was moved by the story and was taken with Reed’s artistic sensibility; she wrote to Reed, asking for a meeting. Ms. Reed was intrigued by the concept and agreed to collaborate.

 

While Ms. Kaminksy and Ms. Reed had a concept and visuals, they had not come up with a story. That’s when they turned to librettist Mark Campbell (who is most known for writing the libretto for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, Silent Night). In their first meeting, Mr. Campbell asked Ms. Reed to relate her own experiences and, moved by her humor, bravery and compassion, began envisioning a story about the journey of a transgender person from youth to adulthood. The resultant libretto, written by both Ms. Reed and Mr. Campbell, is told in three parts and is organized into songs that were inspired by Ms. Reed’s story, the stories of other transgender people, and the themes they felt were necessary to explore.

 

As One was developed through public workshops at AOP under its First Chance program. AOP has developed and/or produced over 20 world premiere operas, many of which started within First Chance, including most recently a sold-out co-production of Lera Auerbach’s The Blind (Lincoln Center Festival 2013), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness (Royal Opera House, London), and Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case (UrbanArias, PROTOTYPE, Pittsburgh Opera).

 

Commissioned by American Opera Projects, As One is supported in part by funding from OPERA America’s Opera Discovery Grants for Female Composers Program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works, Bronx Council on the Arts, Purchase College Development Fund, Tanner Fund, Jeremy T. Smith Fund, Dr. Coco Lazaroff, Lynn Loacker, Judith O. Rubin, and many generous individuals. Special thanks to Purchase College Conservatory of Music and Utah State University. As One is presented by AOP as part of the BAM/DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center Professional Development Program (PDP).

Creators Kimberly Reed, Laura Kaminsky, and Mark Campbell (with Mila Henry in bg) at early AOP workshop of As One.

Creators Kimberly Reed, Laura Kaminsky, and Mark Campbell (with Mila Henry in bg) at early AOP workshop of As One.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

 

Laura Kaminsky, recently appointed Composer-in-Residence at American Opera Projects, has received commissions, fellowships, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Opera America, and the Copland Fund, among others. She has received six ASCAP-Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming and is the recipient of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage 2010 Chopin Award. She is on the faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY. Her music is recorded on the Albany, Mode, MSR, Innova and CRI labels.

 

Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists working in opera today. His last opera, Silent Night, which he wrote with composer Kevin Puts, received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in music. He has written nine operatic works, including Later the Same Evening, Volpone, Bastianello/Lucrezia and Rappahannock County. He is currently working on operas based on the novels The Manchurian Candidate (Minnesota Opera, 2015; composer: Kevin Puts), The Shining (Minnesota Opera, 2016, composer: Paul Moravec), The Trial of Elizabeth Cree (Opera Philadelphia, 2017; composer: Kevin Puts) and the play Dinner at Eight (Minnesota Opera 2017, composer: William Bolcom).

 

Kimberly Reed’s work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, NPR, and in Details Magazine. Her work has made her one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Kimberly Reed directed and produced Prodigal Sons, a “whiplash doc that heralds an exciting talent.” Prodigal Sons landed on many Best of the Year lists and garnered 14 Audience and Jury awards, including the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI Prize. Ms. Reed was recognized in OUT Magazine’s “Out 100,” and as Towleroad’s “Best LGBT Character of the Film Year” in 2010.

 

Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called “the luminous standout” (New York Times) and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” (Opera News). Ms. Cooke’s past season included performances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, among others. Additional highlights included a production of Anna Bolena at the Opéra National de Bordeaux; recitals at Wigmore Hall, Emory University, and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Her recordings are available on Bridge, Naxos, and Music@Menlo Live labels, as well as her solo album on Yarlung Records.

 

In addition to As One, Kelly Markgraf’s 2014-15 calendar features his debut in the role of Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Madison Opera, and the role of Heathcliff in a concert and subsequent recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights with Florentine Opera. He returns to Florentine later in the season as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and makes his debut with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Last season brought a debut with Austin Lyric Opera, performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Green Bay Symphony, and Bach’s St. Mathew Passion with the Oratorio Society of NY at Carnegie Hall.

 

Hailed as “a triumph of ensemble playing” (New York Times), Fry Street Quartet has perfected a “blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity” (The Strad). The ensemble began its international career in 2002 as cultural ambassadors to the Balkan States, sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the U.S. Department of State. They previously collaborated with composer Laura Kaminsky in a multi-disciplinary performance with physicist Dr. Robert Davies, called The Crossroads Project. The Fry Street Quartet holds the Endowed String Quartet Residency at the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

 

Ken Cazan is Resident Stage Director for the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. He has directed more than 100 productions for more than 40 opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera Omaha, Austin Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Hamilton, Portland Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Syracuse Opera, among others. Mr. Cazan holds a B.F.A. in acting, directing, and dance from Syracuse University.

 

Steven Osgood, conductor. Notable engagements include: Xenakis’ Oresteia (world premiere, Miller Theater); Tan Dun’s Marco Polo (De Nederlands Opera), La traviata (Edmonton Opera), Tosca (Chautauqua Opera), Conrad Susa’s Transformations (Juilliard Opera). As Artistic Director of AOP from 2001 to 2008, he conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah (1998 Lincoln Center Festival), and Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood (Tel Aviv, 2007). He also created and is artistic director for the company’s nationally recognized Composers & the Voice Workshop Series, soon entering its eighth season.

 

The BAM Professional Development Program (BAM PDP) is a 9-month program that utilizes the strengths of both institutions to provide professional development training and deeply discounted theater and rehearsal studio rental to an annual selection of qualifying non-profit arts organizations. Through the program, supported by Brooklyn Community Foundation and The New York Community Trust, BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, strive to help arts organizations expand their skill base, increase their institutional capacity, and build necessary foundations for their long-term success. The program culminates with each participating company presenting a self-funded production in the BAM Fisher’s Fishman Theater Space.

 

For more information about transgender issues please visit the GLAAD WEBSITE.


“And Death Shall Have No Dominion” comes to New York

June 18, 2014

And Death Shall Have No DominionThis Saturday, June 21, Composer Pete M. Wyer brings his piece “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” to New York in celebration of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth. “And Death” is a participatory singing event for a synchronized headphone choir. People of all ages are invited to join. Participants do not need to be able to read music or have choral experience, and can sing in groups or by themselves. Using a new, free app (SusSync) that plays the accompaniment and synchronizes their mobile devices, participants will take a 45-minute mapped-out journey through lower Manhattan singing the words of Thomas, creating a moving tapestry that will eventually converge outside Poets House in Rockefeller Park.

Live accompaniment will be provided by the Asphalt Orchestra, a 12-piece ensemble that takes music from concert halls, rock clubs, and jazz basements to the streets and beyond. Feature vocalists include soprano Eleanor Taylor, mezzo Kathryn Krasovec, tenor Glenn Seven Allen, and baritone David Schmidt.

“And Death” commences at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 21 in various locations and converges at Rockefeller Park (Battery Park City) at 11:45 am. The event is being co-presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Make Music New York, and Poets House in association with American Opera Projects as part of the River To River Festival 2014.

For more information and to register, please go to http://makemusicny.org/summer-schedule/2014/features/downtown-sound/and-death-shall-have-no-dominion/

READ

the interview with Pete M. Wyer in THE HUFFINGTON POST

LISTEN

to the ADSHND profile on John Schaefer’s WNYC program NEW SOUNDS

WATCH

Pete M. Wyer’s video tour of And Death Shall Have No Dominion


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 www.portlandovations.org, 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….

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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!

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

BLIND MEN
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.


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