Heartbeat Opera will present two reinterpretations of classic operas as part of its 2017 Spring Festival. The New York company will perform Butterfly—a new take on Puccini’s Madama Butterfly—and a stripped-down presentation of Bizet’s Carmen in repertory from May 20 through May 28.
Butterfly will begin performances May 20. The production, helmed by Co-Artistic Director Ethan Heard and conducted by Jacob Ashworth, will confront the problematic nature of the opera, which was created by white male artists and propelled a stereotype of Asian women that persists today. The cast will be led by Banlingyu Ban as Cio Cio San.
The new staging of Carmen, directed by fellow Co-Artistic Director Louisa Proske and conducted by Daniel Schlosberg (who also provides new arrangements of both titles), will reduce the cast to just the four principals. Sishel Claverie will sing the title role, with Brent Reilly Turner as Don José, Ricardo Rivera as Escamillo, and Jessica Sandidge as Micaëla. Performances will begin May 21.
Performances will take place at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, located at 55 Lexington Avenue. An opening-night gala will take place May 23 and will feature a double bill of both titles. Heartbeat will also present its annual Collaboret series, featuring a number of guest artists who expand the definition of opera in the 21st century, on May 24.
Now in its third season, Heartbeat Opera aims to transform classic operas into intimate, stripped-down presentations with a focus on singers and musicians. Their past productions include Kafka-Fragments, Daphnis & Chloé, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Dido and Aeneas.
For tickets and more information, visit HeartbeatOpera.org.
Take a look at Heartbeat's staging of Mozart's Così fan tutte, which marked the first opera performed on the High Line, below.