April 5, 2012
AOP and Opera New Jersey are proud to announce their second summer of collaboration with this July’s Two Operatic Monodramas, after their inaugural partnership last year with Thomas Pasatieri’s The Family Room.
Two Operatic Monodramas – featuring The Wanton Sublime, by composer Tarik O’Regan and librettist Anna Rabinowitz, and Our Lady, by composer Gregory Spears with texts from medieval Provençal – examines the human and mythic aspects of the Virgin Mary. Both monodramas will be presented as staged readings on July 21st and 22nd at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ.
The Wanton Sublime will feature mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn raising questions about Mary’s role as the “eternal feminine.” Countertenor Ryland Angel joins AOP once again to sing of Mary’s sorrow and love in Our Lady, following two performances of the same work in Fall 2011. Conductor Steven Osgood will lead an ensemble of strings and keyboard under the stage direction of Crystal Manich.
AOP and ONJ present
Two Operatic Monodramas
Our Lady by Gregory Spears
The Wanton Sublime by Tarik O’Regan & Anna Rabinowitz
July 21 at 2 p.m.
July 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Buy tickets online or call Opera New Jersey at (609) 799-7700.
September 22, 2011
September 17, 2011
Greetings from the front lines! The premiere of David Jackson‘s song-cycle MODEL LOVE is a mere two weeks away. As you can imagine, we Model Lovers have been hard at work for some time preparing this piece for its debut at the Kaplan Penthouse on October 2nd. Much of that preparation was done in isolation: days and nights spent learning vocal lines, pulling apart texts, counting complex rhythms (insert this mezzo’s gratitude for the creators of the visual metronome who helped restore my ability to learn polyrhythms), and (in one instance earlier this week) memorizing a trio while on the elliptical machine at the gym! Last night was therefore a particularly gratifying moment, as the cast gathered for our first staging rehearsal.
“There is miracle in personality” sings our tenor, Jeremy Little, in the cycle’s opening number. It is a song about the mystery of attraction, an attempt to explain that unmistakable spark that arises in a moment and draws us inexorably to another person. Getting these songs up on their feet last night, I felt something of that magic: how satisfying it was to finally begin physicalizing together what had previously only existed as a collection of notes and words in my mind! Questions I’ve had for weeks began to be answered, as we three fumbled and found our way, putting flesh on Henry Normal’s heady texts and creating emotional connections for ourselves under the expert guidance of our director, Crystal Manich.
There was something of this sensation when we came together for our first musical run-through a few weeks ago: we all remarked how much easier the music became when we could hear and play off of each other. What pleasure there was in feeling the sound gel and savoring those delicious moments of dissonance that pepper David’s vocal writing! With each successive rehearsal, we add a new layer, the piece makes more sense, and I am increasingly excited to see where we will wind up.
Tomorrow we’re in for another treat as we sit in on the first orchestra rehearsal: so many new colors and textures to enjoy! “The enticement of hollows and shadows” indeed … how lucky we are to go exploring in their depths!
More to come soon…