Casting Announced for Premiere of Michael Korie and Conrad Cummings' Positions 1956; Noah Himmelstein Directs

News   Casting Announced for Premiere of Michael Korie and Conrad Cummings' Positions 1956; Noah Himmelstein Directs
UrbanArias, the Washington-area opera company devoted exclusively to presenting operas by contemporary composers, will present the world premiere of Positions 1956 by Tony nominee Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Conrad Cummings (Denouement, I Wish They All Could Be . . .) this spring in the Black Box Theater at Arlington’s Artisphere in Arlington, VA.

Michael Korie
Michael Korie

Directed by Noah Himmelstein (Sammy Gets Mugged! at The Living Theatre with the NY Fringe Festival), Positions will receive six performances as part of UrbanArias’ second annual Festival, which runs April 13-22, 2012.

The cast will feature Jesse Blumberg, baritone, who created the role of Connie in The Grapes of Wrath and starred in the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers; Vale Rideout, tenor, who created the leading role in John Musto’s The Inspector at Wolf Trap Opera; and Amedee Moore, soprano, who recently sang the role of Clorinda in La Cenerentola at Opera North.

Jesse Blumberg
photo by Arielle Doneson

Positions 1956, according to press notes, is a 90-minute opera in three parts, "each based on a different type of instructional material from the 1950s: a fitness manual (think Charles Atlas, 98-pound weaklings, and titles like 'Physique and Delinquency'); a ballroom dancing manual (think Arthur Murray’s famous 'footprints'); and a sex manual (think titles like 'How to Please Your Husband.')"

Cummings and Korie originally collaborated on Positions in 1980, but only wrote Part I (the sex manual). They will complete the piece for UrbanArias’ festival season in April 2012, with a public reading/workshop on March 21, also in Arlington.

Tickets will go on sale in January 2012 by visiting


For its 2012 Festival, UrbanArias will also present a double-bill of Before Breakfast by Thomas Pasatieri and Frank Corsaro and The Filthy Habit by Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi. Robert Wood is artistic director.

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