American Opera Projects returns to BAM for Professional Development Program and Premiere Opera
Brooklyn, NY- The Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) has announced American Opera Projects (AOP) among the participants in the BAM Professional Development Program (BAM PDP) led by BAM and the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. The companies for this session are of mixed disciplines ranging from opera to theater to dance. AOP’s participation in the program will culminate in 2015 with the World Premiere of As One, an original music theater work to be created by composer Laura Kaminsky, librettist Mark Campbell, and filmmaker Kimberly Reed.
The BAM PDP is a 9-month program that utilizes the strengths of both institutions to provide professional development training and deeply discounted theater and rehearsal studio rental to an annual selection of qualifying Brooklyn non-profit arts organizations. Through the program, supported by Brooklyn Community Foundation and The New York Community Trust, BAM and the DeVos Institute strive to help arts organizations expand their skill base, increase their institutional capacity, and build necessary foundations for their long-term success. The second cycle of the program began this fall and culminates with each Brooklyn-based company presenting a self-funded production in the BAM Fisher Fishman Space within the year following the training portion.
As One, AOP’s world premiere production for the BAM PDP, chronicles a transgender person as she emerges into harmony with herself and the world around her are portrayed with compassion, candor, and humor. The work is being written expressly for acclaimed singers mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf, who will share the role of the protagonist. They will be joined by the renowned Miró Quartet. An interactive film will be created by Kimberly Reed that serves as the production’s background. As One will be AOP’s second world premiere at the BAM Fisher following Out Cold/Zippo Songs (Phil Kline, composer) which was presented as part of BAM’s 30th Next Wave Festival in October 2012.
As One (www.operaprojects.org/as1) will begin development in AOP’s First Chance program in 2014 with in-house and public workshop performances at AOP’s home base, as well as at the BAM Fisher in Fort Greene. Project activity will include collaborations with two other opera companies; UrbanArias in Arlington, VA; and West Edge Opera in Berkeley, CA; and two Conservatories of Music, U of Texas at Austin and SUNY Purchase.
AOP’s First Chance program is funded, in part, by a generous multi-year award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. The AOP 2013-14 season is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. As One‘s composer, Kaminsky, received an award from New York State Council of the Arts for As One, commissioned as a part of AOP’s on-going Operatic Monodrama series.
“As the culminating performances of the inaugural session of the BAM PDP conclude, we are excited to welcome this latest roster of companies. The BAM Fisher was conceived as a center for arts, education, and community, and the BAM PDP supports all these goals. A strong community of stable cultural institutions, both small and large, enhances the creative life and energy of Brooklyn and all of New York City,” said BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins. “The BAM PDP would not be possible without our partners at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management and the generous leadership support of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and The New York Community Trust.”
Chosen by the BAM panel, the organizations taking part in this session in addition to AOP include The Civilians, Kate Weare Company, Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, and WHITE WAVE DANCE. As with the inaugural session, the DeVos Institute extended invitations to a group of organizations to apply for the training portion of the BAM PDP-expanding the program’s reach beyond Brooklyn-based companies. These additional organizations taking part in the program are Clubbed Thumb, Girl Be Heard, National Black Theatre, Ripe Time, and VisionIntoArt.
“I am delighted that the DeVos Institute has renewed its partnership with BAM for this second cycle of the Professional Development Program,” said Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center and founder of the DeVos Institute. “We look forward to continuing this important conversation with BAM and this diverse group of companies.”
At the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for a quarter century, AOP (American OperaProjects) 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 Phil Kline’s Out Cold (2012) at BAM. Other notable premieres include most recently Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, a co-production with Lincoln Center Festival 2013, Kimper/Persons’ Patience & Sarah (1998), Stefan Weisman’s Darkling (2006), and Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008). AOP-developed projects premieres with collaborating companies: Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case at UrbanArias 2013, 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, Hoiby’s This Is the Rill Speaking atOpera Memphis 2013 and Purchase College 2008. Upcoming: 7th season of Composers & the Voice, AOP-commissioned The Wanton Sublime and Nora, In the Great Outdoors (at UrbanArias) andHarriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom. www.operaprojects.org
(Published courtesy of American Opera Projects)