Putting the Chambers in Chamber Opera

September 15, 2011

Soprano Kirsten Chambers slams the door for Nora on Oct 2 at the Kaplan Penthouse

AOP is happy to announce that soprano Kirsten Chambers will perform the role of Ibsen’s heroine Nora in the Felsenfeld-Eno monodrama, Nora, In the Great Outdoors on October 2 at Kaplan Penthouse, 4pm and 7:30pm. And she will be put through her dramatic paces by none other than her husband Keith Chambers who will conduct the performances. Seems Nora can never escape controlling husbands.

Using an icy climate crossed with a fragile-yet-eruptive emotional state of mind as musical grist, Nora, In the Great Outdoors is a take on the ending of Ibsen’s seminal “A Doll’s House,” especially its famous final stage direction, the first collaboration between composer Daniel Felsenfeld and playwright Will Eno. The monodrama takes over immediately where Ibsen leaves off, when the heroine abandons her family, her marriage her security, and perhaps the most famous slammed door in the history of drama. The work is commissioned by AOP as part of its Monodrama program.

A studio recording of Nora was held last month in Yonkers with Caroline Worra in the title role.

Composers & the Voice checks into the Gershwin Hotel

January 29, 2010
"Worra and Peterson at Summer Streets"

Jennifer Peterson accompanies Caroline Worra at SummerStreets Festival

C&V co-music director Jennifer Peterson has been given a room at The Gershwin Hotel and she’s asked a number of Composers & the Voice alumni to join her! Peterson’s newly formed organization operamission and producer Neke Carson will be entertaining Gershwin guests with an ongoing music series that will next feature tenor Keith Jameson (Composers & the Voice 02-03, The Golden Gate, and some tiny roadhouse called The Metropolitan Opera) on Friday January 29 at 8pm performing cabaret songs by Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin, Sheldon Harnick, Kander & Ebb, Maltby & Shire and more. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Future works in the series will feature C&V singers Amy van Roekel, Caroline Worra, and Matthew Garrett performing works by C&V composers Clint Borzoni, Edward Ficklin, and Stephen Andrew Taylor. For full details visit http://operamission.org.

AOP attends Seance premiere; Reviews are in!

October 7, 2009
Lauren Flanigan as Myra conjures the dead in the premiere of Seance on a Wet Afternoon. Photo: David Bazemore for The Santa Barbara Independent

Lauren Flanigan as Myra conjures the dead in the premiere of Seance on a Wet Afternoon. Photo: David Bazemore for The Santa Barbara Independent

AOP Board President Robert E. Lee III and Company Manager Matt Gray were on hand for the gala premiere of Stephen Schwartz‘s first opera Seance on a Wet Afternoon at Opera Santa Barbara. AOP artistic partner and star soprano Lauren Flanigan battled through a head cold and delivered a seemingly effortless bravura performance in the role of Myra, a psychic medium who convinces her husband to participate in a kidnapping scheme that will bring them fame and fortune.

The premiere also featured frequent AOP singers Caroline Worra and Michael Marcotte. Charity Wicks was the assistant conductor to Maestro Valery Ryvkin. A commission by Opera Santa Barbara and produced by Michael Jackowitz, AOP had developed the project since its first workshop in 2008 that was held at South Oxford Space in Brooklyn and the Rose Studio in Lincoln Center with additional public workshops at the Angel Orensanz Theater in the Lower East Side.

And the reviews have started pouring in!

“…terrifically involving and entertaining, sure to excite the interest of opera impresarios (and maybe even legit ones) seeking new audiences for a rigorous art form.”
– Variety
Read full review…

“Stephen Schwartz and Opera Santa Barbara have pulled off the season’s first major coup with this world premiere of what is likely to be among the most talked-about new operas of the decade. Boldly beautiful in its conception and staging, Séance on a Wet Afternoon takes audiences on a wild, suspenseful, and at times even hilarious ride to the limits of tragedy.”
– The Santa Barbara Independent
Read full review…

““Séance” is an opera for people who don’t like opera.”
– LA Times
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“…the cast and the production values were exemplary.”
– Santa Barbara Noozhawk
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“Stephen Schwartz may have written the world’s most accessible opera.”
– TalkinBroadway.com
Read full review…

Classics Today and Thirteen/WNET discuss Pärt / O’Regan at the Guggenheim

January 20, 2009


Music critics were in the house at AOP’s two sold-out performances of Pärt / O’Regan at the Guggenheim Museum. Read their comments below.

Robert Levine, Classics Today:

Guggenheim Museum, New York; Jan 11, 2008

“The Guggenheim Museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater was host to American Opera Projects’ and Works & Process’ presentation of four works: three by the Estonian minimalist Arvo Pärt and one by the British-born, New York based Tarik O’Regan (who named Pärt as one of his inspirations). The 75 minute show was sometimes puzzling, sometimes riveting and always interesting. As always, AOP’s experiments require attention….”

Read full article…

Susan Yung, Sunday Arts Blog at Thirteen/WNET:

Tarik O’Regan, a British composer born in 1978, presented The Woven Child, with libretto by Anna Rabinowitz. It might be daunting for a young composer to be juxtaposed with a master like Pärt (born in 1935 in Estonia), but his composition definitely felt aurally akin – the notes arranged spaciously for miles, and then pooling into a dense symphonic chord. Soprano Caroline Worra’s vocal line paralleled the cello’s, wavering, blending, teasing; violin notes darted rapidly. Then came a hymn-like section, imbued with hope, patience, yearning.

Read full article…

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.

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