ON SITE OPERA 2017 PERFORMANCES

ON SITE OPERA 2017 PERFORMANCES

Site-specific productions include Mozart’s The Secret Gardener at the West Side Community Garden (May 11-13), the U.S. premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable at The Garage, a Hell’s Kitchen industrial space owned by fashion designer Kenneth Cole (June 20, 22-24), and the world premiere of John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs (Sept-Oct)

Partners include The Atlanta Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, and the American Museum of Natural History

Thursday, January 26, 2017 — New York, NY — Known for staging “the ultimate in intimate productions” (The New York Times), On Site Opera (OSO) will present a trio of exciting new site-specific opera productions in 2017, beginning May 11-13 with Mozart’s rarely-performed early opera The Secret Gardener (La finta giardiniera) at the West Side Community Garden. A co-production with The Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series, the immersive production (presented with a new English translation and orchestral reduction) will see performers on all sides of the audience, accompanied by wind octet and double bass – a traditional ensemble for 18th-century outdoor performances.

In June, OSO partners with the Darius Milhaud Society and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to celebrate the 125th birthday of Darius Milhaud with the US premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable (The Guilty Mother) at The Garage, an industrial-styled Hell’s Kitchen space owned by fashion designer Kenneth Cole. The production (sung in French with English titles) will mark the completion of OSO’s acclaimed three-year Figaro Project, in which the company is staging lesser-known operatic adaptations of French playwright Beaumarchais’ (1732-1799) famed trilogy of Figaro plays.

This fall, OSO will present the world premiere of Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt in a month-long residency (Sept-Oct) in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). In partnership with AMNH and a co-commission and co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited and Pittsburgh Opera, the family-oriented opera takes audiences on a hunt for missing fossils around the hall, while learning about the interconnectedness of creativity and science. The opera is based on the real-life experiences of Rhoda Knight Kalt and her trips to AMNH with her grandfather Charles R. Knight, the famous naturalist artist who was commissioned to create paintings and sculptures of prehistoric creatures – many still on display at the AMNH today. OSO commissioned American composer John Musto and librettist Eric Einhorn, to bring Rhoda’s Fossil Hunt to life.

 

2017 LISTINGS

Mozart’s The Secret Gardener (La finta giardiniera)
Libretto by Raniero de Calzabigi
Co-production with The Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series

DATES & LOCATION:
May 11-13, 2017 at Westside Community Garden (May 14, 2017 - rain date)
123 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10025

May 19 & 20, 2017 at The Atlanta Botanical Garden

Tickets: Free with reservation; registration begins March 7, 2017 at osopera.org/secretgardener/

On Site Opera announces a partnership with The Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series to bring Mozart’s The Secret Gardener (La finta giardiniera) to life in a new site-specific co-production. Performances will mark a bi-city first for both companies. Written by an 18-year-old Mozart, The Secret Gardener is a story of love, madness, and redemption that unfolds in the lush setting of a beautiful garden. Disguises and mistaken identities abound in Mozart’s charming tale of a triple love triangle!

The production will be performed with spoken dialogue, drawing on the singspiel roots of the piece, and be accompanied by a wind octet and double bass – a traditional ensemble for 18th century outdoor performances. While the audience will be stationary, the performers will appear everywhere in the garden, surrounding the audience in the story. An exciting new English translation by Kelley Rourke will be replete with garden and floral imagery to anchor the story even more into the space.

PRODUCTION TEAM & ORCHESTRA:
Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald
Director: Eric Einhorn
Costume Designer: Beth Goldenberg
Lighting Designer: Shawn Kaufman
Orchestra: Grand Harmonie
English Translation: Kelley Rourke
Orchestral Arrangement: Yoni Kahn & Thomas Carroll

CAST:
Sandrina: Ashley Kerr, soprano
Arminda: Maeve Höglund, soprano
Serpetta: Alisa Jordheim, soprano
Ramiro: Kristin Gornstein, mezzo-soprano
Belfiore: Spencer Viator, tenor
Podesta: Jonathan Blalock, tenor
Nardo: Jorell Williams, baritone
 

Darius Milhaud’s La mère coupable (The Guilty Mother)
U.S. PREMIERE
Libretto by Madeleine Milhaud

Dedicated to Katherine Warne
Partnership with the Darius Milhaud Society

DATES & LOCATION:
June 20 & 22-24, 2017 at The Garage
611 West 50th Street (Between 11th & 12th Avenues)

Tickets: $60; on sale April 4, 2017 at osopera.org/guiltymother/

On Site Opera presents the U.S. premiere and new site-specific production of Darius Milhaud’s La mère coupable (The Guilty Mother). For the premiere, OSO partners with the Darius Milhaud Society and the award-winning International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The site-specific production celebrates the 125th birthday of Milhaud and is dedicated to Katharine Warne, composer and founder of the Darius Milhaud Society. La mère coupable also marks the completion of OSO’s three-year Figaro Project, in which the company is staging lesser-known operatic adaptations of French playwright Beaumarchais’ (1732-1799) famed trilogy of Figaro plays.

Audiences will enter The Garage, and walk into the quickly-declining world of the Almaviva family. The raw and cavernous space will echo the isolation and broken qualities of the characters as we now find them. Audiences will observe the narrative from two different locations with the venue, and will always be surrounded by the characters as they continually inhabit the space.

PRODUCTION TEAM & ORCHESTRA:
Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald
Director: Eric Einhorn
Costume Designer: Beth Goldenberg
Lighting Designer: Shawn Kaufman
Orchestra: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

CAST:
Rosina: Jennifer Black, soprano
Florestine: Nicole Haslett, soprano
Suzanne: Marie Lenormand, mezzo-soprano
Leon: Andrew Owens, tenor
Count: Philip Cutlip, baritone
Figaro: Jeffrey Mattsey, baritone
Bégearss: Matthew Burns, bass-baritone
Master Fal: Christian Zaremba, bass
 

John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt
WORLD PREMIERE
Libretto by Eric Einhorn

Co-commissioned & Co-produced with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited & Pittsburgh Opera
Partnership with The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

DATES & LOCATION:
Sept. & Oct. 2017 at AMNH
Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024

Ticketing information to be announced at a later date.

Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt is based on the real-life experiences of Rhoda Knight Kalt and her trips to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) with her grandfather Charles R. Knight, the famous naturalist artist who was commissioned to create paintings and sculptures of prehistoric creatures – many still on display at the AMNH today. The opera premieres in the AMNH’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs before traveling to Chicago (Lyric Unlimited) and Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Opera).

Audiences will join Rhoda as she goes on a hunt for missing fossils around the hall, while learning about the interconnectedness of creativity and science. Funding for Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt is provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

 

ABOUT ON SITE OPERA

Over the course of five short seasons, On Site Opera (OSO) has established itself as one of New York City’s most imaginative, cutting-edge opera companies. As The New York Times wrote: “On Site Opera presents the ultimate in intimate productions by performing works in spaces that fit the setting of the story.” OSO’s immersive, site-specific performances have taken place in venues ranging from the the Bronx Zoo to the Cotton Club to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, pushing the boundaries of what opera can do and be and blurring the lines between performer and audience to create a uniquely powerful musical experience.

Upcoming performances include Mozart’s The Secret Gardener at the West Side Community Garden (May 11-13, co-produced with The Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series), the U.S. premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable at The Garage, a Hell’s Kitchen industrial space owned by fashion designer Kenneth Cole (June 20, 22-24), and the world premiere of John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs (Sept-Oct, co-commissioned and co-produced with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited and Pittsburgh Opera).

Founded in 2012, OSO’s team of General & Artistic Director, Eric Einhorn and Music Director, Geoffrey McDonald are dedicated to producing site-specific opera in nontraditional venues throughout New York. Dubbed “So much more than Sleep No More” by The New York Observer, OSO molds its productions to specific locations using physical space to create an environment in which the concept, storytelling, music, and performers unite to form an immersive, cohesive, and meaningful whole. OSO, a registered 501(c)(3), is a proud member of Opera America and the New York Opera Alliance. www.osopera.org

 

ABOUT THE PARTNERS

About The Atlanta Opera:

Nominated in the 2016 International Opera Awards, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation. The Opera presents four mainstage productions at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and two productions at satellite theaters as part of the Discoveries series. The Opera works with world-renowned directors, actors, and designers who seek to enhance the art form and further the current renaissance of opera. Atlanta has a strong history of opera, dating back to the early 1900s when the Metropolitan Opera’s annual tour was a major social event. The Atlanta Opera, founded in 1979, aims to enrich lives through opera. www.atlantaopera.org

About The Discoveries series:

The Discoveries series debuted in Atlanta two seasons ago with an emphasis on presenting new works, new ideas and fresh perspectives on great Atlanta-area stages. The 2015 productions of Three Decembers and Soldier Songs were highlighted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Best of 2015 list. The Atlanta Opera Discoveries series is dedicated to audience members who are seeking new works, new ideas and fresh perspectives. As a part of the Atlanta Opera’s efforts to bring opera to new audiences all over the Atlanta Metro area, these productions will be performed in exciting alternative venues.

About Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited:

Lyric Unlimited, a division of Lyric Opera of Chicago, offers a multifaceted program of education, community engagement and artistic initiatives. The purpose of Lyric Unlimited is to provide a relevant cultural service to communities throughout the Chicago area, including communities for whom opera and opera companies have been largely irrelevant; to explore a wide range of ways in which Lyric can collaborate with cultural and community organizations throughout the area; and to advance the development of opera, exploring ways in which opera as an art form can resonate more powerfully, and in a range of different ways, with people of multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests. In the 2015/16 season, 94,386 individuals participated in Lyric Unlimited programs.  www.lyricopera.org

About Pittsburgh Opera:

Pittsburgh Opera celebrates its 78th season in 2016-17. Established by five intrepid women in 1939, Pittsburgh Opera is viewed as one of the most vibrant opera organizations in the U.S., with a rich artistic tradition, outstanding educational programs, an acclaimed artist training program, and a progressive outlook toward the future. Pittsburgh Opera is unveiling the world premiere of Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King – the Josh Gibson story – in 2017, and Mohammed Fairouz’s Bhutto in 2018. Its green initiative culminated in LEED® Silver certification for its Strip District headquarters, and its capacity as a true community partner has increased significantly under General Director Christopher Hahn’s leadership. www.pittsburghopera.org

About the American Museum of Natural History:

The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum’s exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information.

About the West Side Community Garden:

The West Side Community Garden is owned and maintained by the West Side Community Garden Inc., an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization incorporated under New York State Law. The West Side Community Garden was founded in 1976 on a trash-strewn 89,000 square foot vacant lot on Columbus Avenue that had been slated for an urban renewal project. In 1982, the Community board, developers, and the New York City Planning Commission approved a permanent Garden plan, and a groundbreaking for the present Garden took place in October 1987. The property for the current Garden site was deeded to West Side Community Garden Inc. in November 1989. The current design for the garden was developed by the Gardeners working with Artists and the current layout, incorporating a floral amphitheater and public seating area, was part of the Gardener’s vision from the very beginning. Landscape designer Terry Schnadelbach took the Gardener’s vision and created a blueprint design which was built to our specifications during 1987-88. The Garden and Terry Schnadelbach won the Philip N. Winslow award for best landscape design in 1991. www.westsidecommunitygarden.org

About The Garage:

The Garage is located at 611 West 50th street between 11th and 12th, in the midtown west section of New York. Located just off the Joe Dimaggio [West Side Highway] and mere blocks from the piers 92/94, The Garage is owned by famed designer and activist Kenneth Cole. The Garage reflects his sharp, modern style and sports a decidedly new york edge. Situated on the ground level, the industrial styled venue occupies a historical 18th century piano factory, now converted and restored to a 6,775 sq. ft. venue space. The garage retains its original polished concrete floors, blank white walls, and high ceilings featuring state-of-the-art AV and lighting. The multipurpose white box space is ideal for exhibitions, corporate and private events, meetings/seminars, consumer product launches, media and press events, pop-up marketing initiatives, in addition to fashion shows and film/photo shoots. www.thegarage611.com

On Site Opera spring 2017 season announcement

The Secret Gardener
The Guilty Mother
Apatosaurus, (Brontosaurus) by Charles R. Knight, 1898, American Museum of Natural History

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