AOP kicks off summer with free concert in Fort Greene Park

June 17, 2013

On Friday, June 21, AOP, with friends Opera on Tap, Two Sides Sounding, and Lauren Flanigan’s Music & Mentoring House, will perform “The Voice of Brooklyn,” a free outdoor concert of opera, musicals, spirituals, and songs in Fort Greene Park in Fort Greene, Brooklyn from 5:30pm to sundown. A full schedule and details on the performances are available at

  • The day’s music will begin with songs from composers championed by American Opera Projects over the years, interspersed with selections by local artists paying tribute to Kings County itself in Two Sides Sounding’s “AOP Friends and Neighbors,” with performances by Eleanor Taylor, Hai-Ting Chinn, and Mila Henry, and featuring music from composers such as Renée Favand-See, Matthew Schickele, Lee Hoiby, and Gabriel Kahane.
  • Summer lovebirds might flock to Fort Greene as Opera on Tap presents “Summer Lovin’…”, where Opera on Tap’s divas and divos bring their operatic stylings to the streets to show just how musical summer romance can be.
  • In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, AOP singers perform a mix of traditional spirituals, operatic favorites, and compelling new songs, featuring music by Nkeiru Okoye from the opera “Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom” and “Brooklyn Cinderella,” a song cycle based on the poetry of Brooklyn teenagers. Performances by Sumayya Ali, Sequina Dubose, Clinton Ingram, and Damian Norfleet.

  • Flanigan KightThe evening will close with musical performances by acclaimed soprano, Lauren Flanigan (Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, AOP’s Seance on a Wet Afternoon, Marina, and Beauty Intolerable), and vocal students of Music and Mentoring House. Together, the singers will perform new works by composer Josh Kight from “Pity,” a musical theatre work that explores the relativity of truth, and song cycles “The Cuckoo” and “Chairs,” a piece that explores the simple but important relationship that people have with different chairs.

The concert will be presented as part of the annual Make Music New York Festival, a live, free musical celebration across New York City that takes place each June 21 – the longest day of the year. This year’s concert is AOP’s fifth partnership with MMNY. For a lineup of other MMNY concerts around the city visit

Additional links:

AOP’s 2011 Make Music NY concert in Fort Greene Park.

Flashmob, Opera-Style: “Paul’s Case” around New York City

June 29, 2010
Paul's Case at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Thomas Wazelle (center, in bowler hat) and Dorian Balis (left, in vest) perform a scene from "Paul's Case" in Brooklyn Bridge Park

On June 21st, the first day of summer, AOP took part in Sing For Hope’s 2010 Make Music New York Festival, which placed upwards of 60 pianos in various locations around NYC. Making good use of pianos in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, the Band Shell in Central Park, and Columbus Circle, AOP took the stage with a scene from Act II of Paul’s Case, by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Kathryn Walat. As bystanders looked on, Thomas Wazelle and Dorian Balis, accompanied by Scott Rednour and lead by Silas Huff, performed opera in period dress.

Here’s a brief account of the Columbus Circle piano by the New York Post. Check out the 3:34pm entry for AOP’s contribution to the day of music!

While the performers showcased Paul’s Case, AOP was busy with both still and video cameras, recording the entire process. Expect a compilation video soon! In the meantime, go here to learn more about Paul’s Case, or check out this blog post to learn about where else this up-and-coming new opera is being performed!

A weekend of opera concerts in NYC parks

July 10, 2008
J. David Jackson (left, with AOP Board Mamber John Buscarello) at the Metropolitan Opera's summer concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

J. David Jackson (left, with AOP Board Member John Buscarello) at the Metropolitan Opera's summer concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

AOP conductor covers Met Opera’s concert in Prospect Park

AOP conductor J. David Jackson (Darkling, Marina: A Captive Spirit) was the cover conductor for the Metropolitan Opera’s concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn that drew a crowd of 50,000 on the evening of June 20. The concert featured the soprano Angela Gheorghiu and the tenor Roberto Alagna performing famous opera arias and duets.

AOP presents its own park concert in Brooklyn

On Saturday, June 21, AOP held its own summer concert in a Brooklyn Park one day after the Metropolitan Opera’s presentation. A crowd of less than 50,000 was on hand in Fort Greene Park to watch AOP and friends performing all new opera arias and duets as part of the free festival Make Music NY.

Donna Smith performs C&V songs based on the potry of Walt Whitman

Donna Smith performs C&V songs based on the potry of Walt Whitman

AOP performed songs from this year’s C&V composers based on the writings of Brooklyn’s own Walt Whitman in between presentations from Opera on Tap, Collective Opera Company, and Rhymes With Opera. Greg Trupiano, Artistic Director of the Walt Whitman Project, introduced each of the songs with information about their source poems, including one poem that was written only a block away from where the performance was held.

The show was also held earlier in the day at Lincoln Square in Manhattan.

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