It has been a busy fall for AOP. Our Composers & The Voice fellows delivered a successful “Six Scenes” concert and our latest NYC premiere, “Savage Winter” has entered production for its November 7th unveiling at BAM. At this prolific time in our 30th season, we feel we must take a breath to acknowledge news about the achievements and influence of our effervescent Board members.
Anna Rabinowitz, poet, librettist, and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, has extrapolated her poetry collection, Words on the Street into a “multimedia hybrid performance” in collaboration with director Kristin Marting, video designer Lianne Arnold (As One), and composer Matt Marks. Staged at Baruch College’s Rose Naglebaum Theater from October 26th to November 4th, Words on the Street is a humanity-spanning mystery story; a “what-done-it” if you will, surrounding the abduction of a baby in a dystopian world. Anna Rabinowitz has served on AOP’s board of directors since 2006 and has collaborated on AOP-commissioned adaptations of her poetry books, Darkling (music by Stefan Weisman) and The Wanton Sublime (music by Tarik O’Regan).
In addition to this new production, Ms. Rabinowitz has also been honored by the Poetry Society of America, with a new prize conferred in her name. The Anna Rabinowitz Prize will be awarded in recognition of collaborative endeavors in the field of poetry that unify the art-form with typically related media such as music and visual art, or venture into more esoteric collaborative territory, such as science or mathematics. The award was established to honor Ms. Rabinowitz’s “boundless curiosity, creativity, and artistic accomplishments”, qualities she has shown no shortage of in her multifarious efforts with AOP.
Anthony Roth Costanzo, has been declared Musical America’s “Vocalist of the Year” for his courage, curiosity and passion in challenging notions of a counter-tenor’s role in contemporary opera, and his willingness to identify and combat issues faced by opera creatives in a relentlessly evolving artistic landscape. Celebrated for the “brilliant, piercing clarity of his voice” that can “blaze with passion” Costanzo has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, New York Philharmonic, and National Symphony Orchestra. With AOP, he was instrumental in AOP’s development of Wolf-In-Skins by composer Gregory Spears and librettist/choreographer Christopher Williams, and has been a member of the our board since 2013.
Costanzo recently released his debut recording ARC, a collection that alternates between Arias by Handel and Glass, two composers who the singer views as integral to his development. The album was the basis for a large-scale, live cross-pollination of art-forms entitled “Glass Handel”. Art, dance, film, fashion, and theatre practitioners came together in a multimedia event intended to “appeal to an audience that is primed to appreciate aesthetic things but doesn’t really have an ‘in’ with opera”. Our heartiest congratulations to you in your multi-faceted endeavors, Anthony!
Finally, it is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Dr. Coco Lazaroff, who has been Chair of the AOP Board since 2015. Dr. Lazaroff was a spirited and avid consumer of new opera, who challenged AOP to venture beyond traditional boundaries in the kinds of operas we develop. At the same time she adored the classic operas, and served on the board of the Metropolitan Opera. She was a recognizable figure and always sat in the front row of theaters. We imagine she now has the very best seat. We miss you, Coco!