TWO NEW MARY-INSPIRED OPERAS PAIRED WITH VIVALDI
New York, NY– On Saturday, July 21 at 2:00pm, and Sunday, July 22 at 7:30pm, American Opera Projects, in association with Opera New Jersey, will premiere Blessed Art Thou Amongst Women, an operatic meditation in three parts on the religious and feminine icon Mary with music by Tarik O’Regan, Gregory Spears, and Antonio Vivaldi and performed by countertenor Ryland Angel and mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn. The Sebastian Chamber Players and keyboardist Mila Henry perform under the musical direction of Steven Osgood, with stage direction by Crystal Manich. Performances will be held at the Berlind Theatre at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre Center and feature an artist panel discussion. Tickets are $15 and available at operanj.org or (609) 799-7700.
Blessed Art Thou Amongst Women consists of two contrasting contemporary monodramas - Gregory Spears‘ Our Lady (from medieval Provençal texts) and Tarik O’Regan‘s The Wanton Sublime (with a libretto by Anna Rabinowitz). The new works will be paired with a unique staged performance of Vivaldi‘s Stabat Mater. The performances will mark the second partnership between AOP and Opera NJ, following last season’s exciting workshop premiere of The Family Room by Thomas Pasatieri.
|ABOUT THE ARTISTS
TARIK O’REGAN (composer, The Wanton Sublime)
GREGORY SPEARS (composer, Our Lady)
ANNA RABINOWITZ (librettist, The Wanton Sublime)
RYLAND ANGEL (Counter-tenor)
HAI-TING CHINN (Mezzo-soprano)
Steven Osgood has conducted for Fort Worth Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, New York City Opera, and for many American Opera Projects workshops and premieres. The current season included conducting appearances with Beth Morrison Projects for Songs from the Uproar, Long Beach Opera for Glass’ Aidanamar, the Manhattan School of Music for The Ghosts of Versailles, and Opera Memphis for Die Fledermaus. Next season, he will debut with Hawaii Opera conducting Tosca, Sarasota Opera conducting Little Nemo, and return to Opera Memphis to conduct The Rape of Lucretia, This Is the Rill Speaking & Bon Appetite. www.srosgood.com
Crystal Manich has been praised for her “lively staging”, “quirky touches” and “visual impacting pictures” by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other major publications. She has directed various main stage productions for Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, Lyric Opera of Baltimore and Opera Omnia, a New York-based company that produces baroque works of which she is co-founder and co-Artistic Director. Other directing credits for American Opera Projects include world premiere semi-staged performances of Model Love and Brooklyn Bones. Upcoming productions: Don Giovanni for the Bay View Festival, The Flying Dutchman for Opera Roanoke and Madama Butterfly for Pittsburgh Opera. Crystal holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information visit crystalmanich.com.
Praised for their “well-thought-out articulation and phrasing” (Early Music Review) and “elegant string playing… immaculate in tuning and balance” (Early Music Today), the Sebastian Chamber Players (www.sebastians.org) specialize in music of the Baroque and Classical eras and newly commissioned works for period instruments.
Mila Henry is a New York-based pianist who specializes in contemporary opera, musical theater, and chamber music. She is currently Resident Music Director with American Opera Projects and a music director for their nationally recognized Composers & the Voice workshop series. She has worked with both emerging and established composers alike, including Libby Larsen, Conrad Cummings, Douglas Cuomo, Herschel Garfein, Gilda Lyons, and Daniel Felsenfeld. www.milahenry.com
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
American Opera Projects
For over 20 years, American Opera Projects (AOP) has been creating, developing and presenting exclusively new American opera and music theatre projects. AOP, based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has presented over 15 world premiere operas including Patience & Sarah (1998), Stefan Weisman’s Darkling (2006), and Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking (2008). AOP-developed projects include Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon (Opera Santa Barbara, 2009; New York City Opera, 2011), Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls (Fort Worth Opera, 2010), Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness (Royal Opera House (UK), 2011), and Jack Perla’s Love/Hate (ODC Theater and SF Opera, 2012). Upcoming: Phil Kline’s Out Cold (BAM, October 2012), and Gregory Spears’s Paul’s Case (Little Opera Theatre of NY/UrbanArias, 2013). www.operaprojects.org
Opera New Jersey
Opera New Jersey is the Garden State’s largest and busiest opera company, recently named New Jersey’s favorite opera company by JerseyArts.com’s People’s Choice Awards. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, Opera New Jersey presents a summer season of fully staged opera in July at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center and Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre, with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as its official orchestra. In addition, the company performs one opera in February in collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Princeton and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, in partnership with NJPAC. Three times awarded a Citation of Excellence by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Opera New Jersey has become known for the highly artistic quality of its productions. Opera News has called Opera New Jersey one of the Garden State’s most enticing summer offerings. For more information, visit www.OperaNJ.org.