August 18, 2010
This past weekend, a very special kind of gathering took place in Southampton. At the house of David H. Koch and his wife, Julia, composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and soprano Lauren Flanigan performed selections from Schwartz’s new opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon. The event was held to hype the opera, which had its beginnings with AOP, and which will open in the David H. Koch Theater at New York City Opera in 2011.
You can read more about the evening on the Wall Street Journal’s website, here.
March 11, 2010
AOP's Seance workshop, Nov 2008. (l to r: Michael Zegarski, Matthew Curran, Lauren Flanigan, John Kimberling, Hila Plitmann. Photo by Michael Chadwick (c)2008)
It was just announced this week that New York City Opera will close their 2010-11 season with the AOP-developed Stephen Schwartz opera Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Our audiences got a chance to see several workshops of Séance in 2008, and now they’ll have a chance to see how it all finally came together when it has its fully staged NYC premiere on April 19, 2011. NYCO star Lauren Flanigan, who appeared in each of the AOP workshops, will return to the role of Myra, the psychic medium who hatches a nefarious kidnapping plot in order to boost her reputation.
NYCO will also produce Strauss’ Intermezzo, Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, and will bring back Jonathan Miller‘s production of Donizetti’s Elixer of Love. (A bit of trivia: Jonathan Miller hosted an AOP libretto workshop of Heart of Darkness and Semmelweis in November 2008 just before AOP’s workshop of Séance in the Lower East Side’s Orensanz Theater.)
From NYCO’s press release:
“With this season, we take another step forward on an exciting journey for New York City Opera,” stated George Steel. “I’m thrilled that we have three new productions, that we’re presenting four premieres of works by American composers—all of them New Yorkers—and that we’re exploring new programming possibilities, both with our triple bill of mini-operas and with the new concert series. Most of all, I love the incredible range of compositional styles this season: from the transparent simplicity of Donizetti to the opulent middle-period Richard Strauss to the blend of the popular and classical worlds in Bernstein and Stephen Schwartz—all this topped off by the delicious trio of Schoenberg, Feldman and Zorn. This is what City Opera was made to do, and what makes City Opera unique.”
See more about NYCO’s premiere of Séance on a Wet Afternoon and the rest of the 2010-11 season here.
Other upcoming premieres of AOP-developed projects include Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera this May and Heart of Darkness at the Royal Opera House in 2011.
July 20, 2009
AOP is excited to announce that Jules Massenet’s one act opera La Navarraise received a rave review from Harry Rolnick of ConcertoNet. In particular, AOP is proud of the recognition our former Artistic Director, Steven Osgood, received. Rolnick paid special attention to the New York City Opera Orchestra under Osgood’s baton. Michael Zegarski, with whom AOP has collaborated on Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the Composers & the Voice song workshop, and is a board member of AOP, served in the ensemble and was singled out by Rolnick for his performance in the “delicious song ‘For Wine! For Cider.’” Andrew Drost, who sang the role or Ramon, is another AOP alumnus, having sung in the Voice of Brooklyn concert. Baritone, Jeffrey Tucker, who collaborated with AOP on Before Night Falls, sang the role of Bustamente.
To read the full review, click here
May 7, 2009
Stephen Schwartz sat down for an interview with New York City Opera following his recent presentation of scenes from Seance on a Wet Afternoon at VOX 2009. In the podcast, Schwartz discussed the development of his first opera and its upcoming premiere at Opera Santa Barbara.
Click here for interview.
April 21, 2009
On May 1, composer Stephen Schwartz will be holding a free, late night seance for NYC audiences, or more specifically, a reading of his opera Seance on a Wet Afternoon backed by the City Opera orchestra and members of the New York City Opera chorus also partaking under the musical direction of George Manahan.
Like AOP’s concert reading held last November, the VOX: Showcasing American Opera presentation will star Lauren Flanigan and Michael Zegarski as the scheming couple who kidnap a girl in the hopes of becoming famous by “finding” her through a seance.
READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE
Tickets to the VOX: Showcasing American Opera series are free. Reservations can be made by visiting vox-nyco.com.
Michael Zegarski can also be heard at VOX on May 2 in Jonathan Dawe and Heather Raffo’s Armide (2-3:10 PM).