“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.


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

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