“LEGENDARY” Opera Scene Chosen From AOP Composer Training Program For Staged Performance

October 23, 2014

MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC WILL PRESENT MUSIC AT ANNUAL “PAGE TO STAGE” PROGRAM IN MARCH 2015

Following its appearance in AOP’s Composers & the Voice training program, scenes from an opera-in-progress Legendary, music by Joseph Rubinstein, libretto by Jason Kim, have been selected by the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) to receive a staged performance at the music conservatory’s Greenfield Hall next Spring.

In Legendary, famed drag performer Dee Legendary embarks on a passionate love affair with (police) Officer John, whose fascination with Dee takes an unexpected and dangerous turn. Inspired by a true story, Legendary is an opera about double lives and destructive desires set in the glory days of New York City’s underground drag culture.

Legendary was developed during Rubinstein and Kim’s 2013-14 fellowship in AOP’s long running Composers & the Voice program (C&V). Along with five other composers, they received training for nine months with professional composers, librettists, and singers on creating opera and writing for the voice. A scene from Legendary was first presented to the public in September’s C&V Six Scenes concert.

The first two scenes of Legendary will be presented in March by AOP First Chance, public presentations of operas-in-progress, as part of MSM’s annual Opera Index series “New American Opera Previews, From Page to Stage.” Legendary will be the 11th AOP-developed work to appear in Page to Stage at MSM. Previous C&V works at MSM have included Jack Perla’s Love Hate (2012 premiere, ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera), Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case (World premiere, UrbanArias (2013) and PROTOtype Festival (Jan 2014)), and Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King (concert premiere, PortlandOvations, May 2014). Composers & the Voice holds a long-established partnership with The Manhattan School of Music, as well as a new affiliation with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, as a way of introducing contemporary opera to students.

Kim and Rubinstein in a 2013 Composers & the Voice workshop session. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky.

Kim and Rubinstein in a 2013 Composers & the Voice workshop session. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky.

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AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS PRESENTS “SIX SCENES” OF NEW OPERAS BY EMERGING COMPOSERS AND LIBRETTISTS

August 13, 2014

MUSIC FROM THE 2013-14

SEASON OF COMPOSERS & THE VOICE

 

A Stonewall-era drag queen and the cop entranced by her. A princess manipulates her captor during the Crusades. A man’s literal vacation from Hell. On­­­­ Friday, September 12 and Sunday, September 14 at 7:30 PM, AOP (American Opera Projects) will present these and other excerpts of new operas at COMPOSERS & THE VOICE: SIX SCENES 2014, the culmination of this season’s Composers & the Voice (C&V) opera training program. Audiences will see scenes by five emerging composers – Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz – and one composer/librettist team, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim, who were chosen by AOP to spend a year creating new works focusing on the operatic voice. The performances will be held at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, home of AOP. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students/seniors and are available at http://www.operaprojects.org.

AOP Resident Ensemble of Singers performing: sopranos Deborah Lifton (Center for Contemporary Opera, Encompass New Opera Theatre) and Kristin Sampson (Dicapo Opera Theatre, Santa Fe Opera), mezzo Blythe Gaissert (Los Angeles Opera, Aspen Music Festival), tenor Dominic Armstrong (New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago), baritone Jorell Williams (Caramoor International Music Festival, Opera Theatre of St. Louis), and bass-baritone Matthew Burns (Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera).  Supporting on piano will be Composers & the Voice Music Directors Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, and Charity Wicks.

The performances will be hosted by C&V Artistic Director Steven Osgood (conductor, Chautauqua Opera, New York City Opera) and feature discussions with the artists about the creative process.

This year’s C&V fellows have benefitted from one-on-one mentoring from esteemed composers Daron Hagen, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, and Stephen Schwartz, as well as librettist Mark Campbell. Each of these distinguished artists reviews their fellows’ work, offers feedback, and participates in C&V discussions.

Previous Six Scenes by C&V alumni produced in the Brooklyn-based bi-annual series featured the first performances of Jack Perla’s Love/Hate (World Premiere 2012, San Francisco) and Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case (World Premiere Spring 2013, in Washington, DC and New York).

ABOUT COMPOSERS & THE VOICE

Created and led by Artistic Director Steven Osgood, Composers & the Voice began in 2002 and is currently in its seventh season. In Composers & the Voice, fellows establish an understanding of how the operatic voice works and how to write optimally for each voice type, and have hands-on experiences that allow them to explore in their own musical and textual language. Participants meet in closed sessions from September to April to present and discuss new works composed specifically for the individual voices of the Resident Ensemble.

With each new group of fellows, sponsorships are named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice. During the workshop session these “Composer Chairs” make themselves available to our fellows for one-on-one discussions and feedback. Past “Composer Chairs” have included composers Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Tan Dun, Daron Hagen, Lee Hoiby, John Musto, Richard Peaslee, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho, and Stephen Schwartz.

Composers & the Voice holds a long-established partnership with The Manhattan School of Music, and a new affiliation with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, as a way of introducing contemporary opera to students. Two of the scenes featured in September’s Six Scenes concert will be selected for study and performance in 2015 at the two conservatories.

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fellows in the C&V program are supported by funding from The New York Community Trust, Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, and Musical Arts Fund. In the 2013-2014 season, The Victor Herbert Foundation has announced the sponsorship of one fellowship as The Victor Herbert Foundation Composers & The Voice Chair. The Chair is created in memory of longtime opera supporter Lois C. Schwartz.

 picture

C&V Fellows  (l. to r.) Jason Kim, Joseph Rubinstein, Jeremy Gill, Gity Razaz, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Guy Barash, and Avner Finberg. Photo by Ted Gorodetzky. Additional photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjGVwRYe
 

CALENDAR LISTING INFORMATION

AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS presents

Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes 2014

World Premiere Opera Scenes from the 2013-14 Season of Composers & the Voice

WORKS BY: Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim

MUSIC DIRECTION: Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, Charity Wicks

PERFORMANCES BY: Deborah Lifton, Kristin Sampson, Blythe Gaissert, Dominic Armstrong, Jorell Williams, Matthew Burns

Friday, September 12 and Sunday, September 14, 7:30 p.m.

South Oxford Space

138 S. Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY 11217

Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center

D, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue

Train: Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Terminal – Barclays Center

Bus: B25, B26, B45, B52, B63, all stop within three blocks of South Oxford Space

Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM and Barclays Center

Tickets: $15 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors

Tickets available at www.operaprojects.org

Complete information about Composers & the Voice and this year’s artists can be found at www.operaprojects.org/composers_voice.htm

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

At the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for a quarter-century, AOP creates, develops and presents opera and music theatre projects collaborating with young, rising and established artists in the field. AOP has produced over 20 world premieres including Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival 2013. Other notable premieres include Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Stefan Weisman’s Darkling (2006), Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008), and Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012) at BAM. AOP-developed projects with premiere with collaborating companies: Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case at Urban Arias (2013) and PROTOTYPE Festival (Jan 2014), Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas at Milwaukee Opera Theatre (2013), Jack Perla’s Love/Hate at ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera (2012), Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at London’s Royal Opera House (2011), Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010), Lee Hoiby’s This Is the Rill Speaking at Opera Memphis (2013) and Purchase College (2008). Upcoming:  As One at BAM, September 2014.

ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFO AND PRESS MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT: www.operaprojects.org


AOP PRESENTS “FIRST GLIMPSE” OF EMERGING COMPOSERS & LIBRETTISTS IN BROOKLYN

April 24, 2014
C&V Fellows 2013-14

COMPOSER DARON HAGEN HOSTS

WORLD PREMIERE SONGS FROM THE 2013-14 
SEASON OF COMPOSERS & THE VOICE

BROOKLYN, NY, April 24, 2014– On Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19, 2014 at 7:30pm AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS (AOP) will present COMPOSERS & THE VOICE: FIRST GLIMPSE 2014, the first public presentation of compositions developed during this season’s Composers & the Voice (C&V) program. Composer Daron Hagen hosts the concert of songs written by five emerging composers – Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz – and one composer/librettist team, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim, who were chosen by AOP to spend a year creating new works focusing on the operatic voice. The performances will be held at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the home of AOP. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students/seniors and are available at www.operaprojects.org.

Composer Daron Hagen (AmeliaA Woman in Morocco) will host the concert. In addition to seven months of workshop training sessions, the C&V fellows received one-on-one mentoring from Mr. Hagen, as well as esteemed composers Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Tobias Picker, Stephen Schwartz and librettist Mark Campbell. Each of these distinguished artists review their fellow’s work, offer feedback, and participate in C&V discussions.

The AOP Resident Ensemble of Singers performing at First Glimpse are sopranos Deborah Lifton (Center for Contemporary Opera, Encompass New Opera Theatre, Joy In Singing Competition Winner) and Kristin Sampson (Best Female Performer Award- Mezzo Television Armel Opera Competition, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Santa Fe Opera), mezzo Rachel Calloway (Castleton Festival, Gotham Chamber Opera, PROTOTYPE), tenor Dominic Armstrong (New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago), baritone Jorell Williams (Caramoor International Music Festival, New York City Encores!, Opera Theatre of St. Louis), and bass-baritone Matthew Burns (Bard SummerScape, Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera). Supporting on piano will be Composers & the Voice Music Directors Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, and Charity Wicks.

Created and led by Artistic Director Steven Osgood (and former Artistic Director of AOP), Composers & the Voice began in 2002 and is currently in its seventh season.American Opera Projects selects six composers for a year-long fellowship to work with the company’s Resident Ensemble of Singers for the nationally recognized workshop series, with additional training in acting, improv, and libretto study. The primary focus of Composers & the Voice is to give composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice and contemporary opera stage. Participants meet in closed sessions from September to April to present and discuss new works composed specifically for the individual voices of the Resident Ensemble.

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Composers & the Voice fellows are supported, in part, by funding from The Victor Herbert Foundation.

First Glimpse 2014 on May 18 and 19 will be the first public performances of compositions created during this year’s workshops. In September 2014, the Composers & the Voice fellows will return from a summer hiatus with Six Scenes, an evening of short opera scenes presented as part of AOP’s First Chance series. One of these scenes will be selected to receive a staged reading at Manhattan School of Music in Spring 2015 as part of their annual “New American Opera Previews, from Page to Stage”.

FG14-banner-5_1

AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS presents

Composers & the Voice: First Glimpse 2014
World Premiere Songs from the 2013-14 Season of Composers & the Voice

COMPOSITIONS BY: Guy Barash, Avner Finberg, Jeremy Gill, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Gity Razaz, Joseph Rubinstein and Jason Kim
MUSIC DIRECTION: Mila Henry, Kelly Horsted, Charity Wicks
PERFORMANCES BY: Deborah Lifton, Kristin Sampson, Rachel Calloway, Dominic Armstrong, Jorell Williams, Matthew Burns
HOSTED BY: Daron Hagen

COMPOSERS & THE VOICE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Steven Osgood

Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. 
South Oxford Space
138 S. Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY 11217

Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center
D, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue
Train: Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Terminal – Barclays Center
Bus: B25, B26, B45, B52, B63, all stop within three blocks of South Oxford Space

Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM and Barclays Center

Tickets: $15 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors
Tickets available at www.operaprojects.org 

Complete information about Composers & the Voice and this year’s artists can be found at www.operaprojects.org/composers_voice

ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFO AND PRESS MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT: http://www.operaprojects.org

PRESS PHOTOS AVAILABLE HERE.


AOP First Chance previews new opera “COMPANIONSHIP” at Manhattan School of Music and Cornelia Street Café

March 5, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Matt Gray, AOP Producing Director, 718-398-4024, mgray@operaprojects.org

Peters Rachel2Composer Rachel Peters; photo by Luke Redmond

EXCERPTS BY COMPOSER RACHEL PETERS FEATURES STUDENT CAST, ARTIST DISCUSSION

BROOKLYN, NY, 3/5/2014 – On March 16 at 2:30PM, American Opera Projects (AOP) First Chance, public presentations of operas-in-progress, returns to the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) for their annual Opera Index series “New American Opera Previews, From Page to Stage” with scenes from Companionship, a new opera by composer Rachel Peters. Tickets for the MSM performance at Greenfield Hall (120 Claremont Ave., NYC 10027) are $20 ($15 advance, $10 Student/senior) and available by calling 212-706-9550. On March 24 at 8:30PM, an encore concert presentation will be held at Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia Street, New York, NYC 10014) as part of the “Otherwise Unsung” series featuring creators of new music-theatre joining forces to deliver contemporary arias and scenes. Tickets for the Cornelia Street Café performance are $10.00 cover plus $10.00 minimum and available by calling 212-989-9319.

Adapted from the short story by Arthur Phillips, Companionship is a dark comedy about a troubled baker on an “all-consuming” quest to create the perfect baguette when the 207,345th loaf comes to life. Directed by Lemuel Wade (AOP’s recent Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom), the excerpts will feature performances by MSM student singers Noragh Devlin, Lesley Dolman, Stephanie Jabre, Matilyn Obregón, and Xiaoming Tian, with Scott Rednour on piano. A talkback with the artists, hosted by former WQXR host Midge Woolsey, will follow the March 16 performance.

Companionship was developed by Ms. Peters in AOP’s Composers & the Voice (C&V) composer training program in 2011-2012 and will be AOP’s 10th collaboration with MSM’s Opera Studies department (Gordon Ostrowski, Asst. Dean) and New American Opera Previews, From Page to Stage. Previous C&V works at MSM have included Jack Perla’s Love/Hate (2012 premiere, ODC Theater with San Francisco Opera), Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case (world premiere, UrbanArias (2013) and PROTOtype Festival (Jan 2014)), and Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King (concert premiere, PortlandOvations, May 2014).

In September C&V fellows will present an operatic concert of “Six Scenes” at AOP’s home base in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. One of these C&V-developed opera scenes will be selected to be performed at MSM for the March 2015 “Page to Stage” series. C&V Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Victor Herbert Foundation in Memory of Lois C. Schwartz.

Rachel Peters’ operas include The Wild Beast of the Bungalow (Hartford Opera Theater, upcoming workshop with Center for Contemporary Opera), and Monkey Do (Rhymes With Opera). Musicals include Only Children (NYU Tisch Mainstage, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Dixon Place), Tiny Feats of Cowardice (Adirondack Theatre Festival, HERE), Write Left (Playwrights Horizons Theatre School), Tomato Red (UC Irvine), Octopus Heart (NYU Steinhardt), f2m, and Public Domain. More info at www.racheljpeters.com.

About American Opera Projects (AOP)

At the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for a quarter-century, AOP creates, develops and presents opera and music theatre projects collaborating with young, rising and established artists in the field. AOP has produced over 20 world premieres including most recently Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival 2013 and Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012) at BAM. AOP-developed premieres include Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon at New York City Opera (2011), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness at London’s Royal Opera House (2011), Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera (2010), This Is the Rill Speaking at Opera Memphis (2013). Upcoming: AOP-commissioned The Wanton Sublime and The Companion at Roulette (April 2014) and As One at BAM, September 2014. http://www.operaprojects.org

© Copyright 2014 American Opera Projects, Inc. All rights reserved.


DECORATION: Versatile composer Mikael Karlsson to premiere and discuss scenes from his new opera

March 5, 2013
Image

Mikael Karlsson. Photo by Isabelle Selby

Few classical composers can state their music has sold over 8 million copies, but Mikael Karlsson, the composer of two scores from a hit video game franchise, can claim that distinction. He’ll tell you though that he gets just as much satisfaction, if not more, satisfaction from composing for dance, film, and opera.

AOP returns to the Manhattan School of Music for their annual Opera Index series with scenes from Decoration, a new opera by Mikael with a libretto by the composer and David Flodén. The enigmatic work concerns “pointlessness, science as faith, entropy, a room with zero dimensions, druggy visions, rabbits, “new flesh,” lies and oracles floating on top of oceans inside hospitals.” The performance on March 17 features singers Rebecca Ringle, Margreth Fredheim, Jason Cox and Raehann Bryce-Davis with stage direction by Caren France. Decoration comes to AOP’s series OPERAtion Brooklyn on March 23 in Brooklyn.

Decoration was developed in AOP’s Composers & the Voice program in 2011-2012. The March performances of Decoration are made possible in part with generous funding by The Victor Herbert Foundation in memory of Lois C. Schwartz. Artist bios and video samples can be found at: www.operaprojects.org/decoration

Read Mikael’s interview with IGN.com about bringing his avante-garde classical style to the video game Battlefield: Bad Company.


MSM Opera Program to Showcase Scenes from New Opera “Decoration”

September 11, 2012

Selections from an eerie, hallucinatory new opera Decoration by Composers & the Voice fellow Mikael Karlsson will be presented by the Manhattan School of Music’s opera department in a program of new operas in March 2013. One of the “Six Scenes” performed this past weekend at an AOP showcase of various operas in development, Decoration follows the pre-apocalyptic journey of two sisters – one pregnant, one dying – and their extremely different outlooks on the future.

Composer Mikael Karlsson (photo by Anna Österlund)

Decoration scenes, libretto by the composer and David Flodén, will be performed in a staged reading by MSM voice students at Greenfield Hall as part of the annual New American Opera Previews, from Page to Stage series, hosted by WQXR’s Midge Woolsey, produced by Opera Index. The selection was made by a panel of judges including Assistant Dean of Opera Studies/Opera Production at MSM Gordon Ostrowski and Head Coach William Tracy.

The nationally recognized Composers & the Voice (C&V) is a fellowship for six composers or composer/librettist teams to work with an artistic team, headed by Steven Osgood, and AOP’s Resident Ensemble of Singers. The primary focus of C&V is to give composers extensive experience working collaboratively with singers on writing for the voice. With each new group of fellows, sponsorships are named in honor of mentors and their support of Composers & the Voice.

Tobias Picker

Composer Tobias Picker (American Tragedy) served as a Mikael Karlsson’s “Composer Chair,” providing a one-on-one mentorship throughout the year. Other Composer Chairs during the past C&V season included John Corigliano, Daron Hagen, John Musto, Kaija Saariaho, and Stephen Schwartz.

Decoration marks the ninth presentation by MSM of opera excerpts to come out of  C&V.  Previous C&V operas have included “The Summer King” by Daniel Sonenberg, “Exiles” by Renee Favand-See, “Dream President” by Jennifer Griffith, “The Golden Gate” by Conrad Cummings, “Death in Summer” by Gregg Wrammage, “Paul’s Case” by Gregory Spears, “Henry’s Wife” by Randall Eng, and “Love/Hate” by Jack Perla, which went on to a world premiere in April 2012 in partnership with The San Francisco Opera.

Music from C&V fellows will also be programmed at upcoming presentations by OPERAtion Brooklyn and the BEAT Festival, Opera Memphis and AOP Artistic Partner The Walt Whitman Project.

“For the composers selected the implications are many and very rewarding,” said C&V Artistic Director Steven Osgood. “Each of them will have their music brought to a wider and diverse audience [and] each of them will forge relationships with major artistic institutions, which is today an increasingly difficult hurdle for emerging artists.”

Composers & the Voice is made possible in part by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fellows in the C&V program are supported by funding from The New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund and Musical Arts Fund.


Curator blog calls Opera Grows in Brooklyn a benefit to the city

April 6, 2009
Leona Carney, Kristen DiNinno, and Joseph Flaxman in Jack Perla's Love/Hate

Leona Carney, Kristen DiNinno, and Joseph Flaxman in Jack Perla's Love/Hate

The folks at The Curator blog recently stopped by Galapagos Art Space to check out Opera Grows in Brooklyn, the March 20 collaboration of new music presented by Opera on Tap, the Remarkable Theater Brigade and AOP. We were on hand to reprise our performance of scenes from Jack Perla’s Love/Hate that students from the Manhattan School of Music had presented at MSM earlier that week under the music direction of Silas Huff and stage direction of Caren France.

Linnea Leonard Kickasola called the evening “an exciting new level of work for these young companies. Brooklyn and the rest of the city will benefit from future collaborations like these.”

Read the full review here.


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