American Opera Projects Season to Offer Golden Gate, Heart of Darkness, Rosencranz... and More

Classic Arts Features   American Opera Projects Season to Offer Golden Gate, Heart of Darkness, Rosencranz... and More
American Opera Projects has announced its 21st season. The 2009-10 lineup will feature operas-in-development, new songs, and other world premiere events in New York from composers including Conrad Cummings, Richard Wargo and Raymond Lustig.

The company's "mission is to champion innovative works of music theater, to expand the art form, and to identify, develop and present new works by emerging and established talent."

AOP will begin its 21st season of commissioning, developing and presenting new opera and musical works this fall. From its home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, AOP will continue to open up the artistic process to audiences with dozens of libretto readings and concert workshops throughout the year.

The 2009-2010 season will also feature two world premieres of AOP-developed projects produced by other companies‹S_ance on a Wet Afternoon, the first opera by composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell), at Opera Santa Barbara in September 2009 and Jorge Mart‹n's Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera in May 2010.


September 2009: The Golden Gate
AOP will present a piano-vocal workshop of the opera in two acts by composer Conrad Cummings. With a libretto adapted from Vikram Seth's best-selling novel in verse The Golden Gate, five twenty-somethings experience love, life, and loss in the magical and innocent San Francisco of the early 1980's. The Golden Gate has been in development with AOP since 2006. Venue TBA. Cummings was a composer in AOP's Composers the Voice fellowship program.

October 17-18, 2009: Sharon's Grave
In Richard Wargo's opera Sharon's Grave, a dark comedy based on the play by John B. Keane, family members scheme to inherit the land of a dying patriarch against a backdrop of Irish folklore and legend. AOP will continue its development of this work with a piano-vocal workshop of Act II at the composer's hometown of Scranton, PA and nearby Waverly, PA. 10/17: The Waverley Community House, 1115 N. Abington Rd. Waverly, PA; 10/18: The Melberger Arts Center Gallery, 123 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, PA.

October 2009 and April 2010: The Doctors' Ward
The gripping story of Ignaz Semmelweis, the 19th century doctor who fought to convince the medical community of the prevention of transmutable diseases, is turned into an opera by composer Raymond Lustig (AOP Composers the Voice fellow and 2009 Charles Ives Fellowship recipient) and librettist Matthew Doherty. New music from the one-act opera-in-development will be presented in conjunction with the chamber orchestra Insonica as part of Opera Grows in Brooklyn, AOP's third collaboration with Galapagos Art Space, and at The Masters School where it will include an educational component about the history of the story's protagonist. Music Director, Sean Kubota; Director, Matt Gray. The Doctors' Ward was developed in workshop with American Opera Projects in Brooklyn and was then selected for a special workshop with English stage director Jonathan Miller in New York in October 2008 in collaboration with The Glimmerglass Opera. Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St., DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY. The Masters School, 49 Clinton Ave., Dobbs Ferry, NY.

November 20-21, 2009, 8 PM: Rosencranz and Guilderstern Are Dead
AOP, in partnership with the Mark Morris Dance Group, begins its development of the first-ever opera based on the work of legendary playwright Tom Stoppard. Creator Herschel Garfein (librettist, Elmer Gantry) and choreographer and director Mark Morris (director, Orfeo ed Euridice, King Arthur) team up for a new public workshop of this comic opera-in-development. Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY.

December 2010: AOP Annual Holiday Party
AOP's annual holiday celebration featuring festive music and AOP-commissioned songs. Venue TBA - but in an historic Fort Greene brownstone.

January 29, 2010: A Tribute to Conductor J. David Jackson
AOP celebrates the career of Maestro J. David Jackson with a benefit party following his performance conducting Verdi's Simon Boccanegra at The Metropolitan Opera on January 29. AOP has enjoyed a long collaboration with Maestro Jackson including the AOP produced and developed operas Marina: A Captive Spirit, Darkling, L'abb_ Agathon, and Judgment of Midas. Venue TBA.

March 2010: The Wanton Sublime
Composer Tarik O'Regan (Heart of Darkness) teams with poet Anna Rabinowitz (Darkling) in a new AOP-commissioned one-act operatic monodrama that philosophically, psychologically and poetically examines Mary, mother of Jesus, and the dramatic moments of the Virgin Birth. Part of the Peter Jay Sharp SOLO Project, an initiative to develop a series of new operatic monodramas. The Institute for Advanced Study, Wolfensohn Hall, Princeton, NJ.

March 2010: Heart of Darkness
AOP presents the final workshop of Heart of Darkness, a one-act opera from AOP Artistic Partner and Grammy-nominee Tarik O'Regan (Threshold of Night, Scattered Rhymes) and librettist Tom Phillips, based on the novella by Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness will premiere in 2011 at London's Royal Opera House 2 (ROH2) at Covent Garden. The Institute for Advanced Study, Wolfensohn Hall, Princeton, NJ.

April 26, 2010, 7:30 PM: The Music of Georgia Shreve and Alvin Singleton
AOP will present an evening of new works for choir and chamber orchestra music at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. The concert will feature the second performance of Brooklyn Bones, a Requiem, by Alvin Singleton and Patricia Hampl, a 2008 commission by the Ft. Greene Park Conservancy and the City of New York to commemorate the Revolutionary War Prison Ship Martyrs of Brooklyn. The concert will also showcase new works from composer/author Georgia Shreve. Zankel Hall, 881 7th Ave New York, NY.

And also in AOP's 2009-10 season, audiences will experience new music workshops of Gregory Spears's Paul's Case, Kamran Ince's Judgment of Midas, and Michael Rose's Ugetsua as well as libretto workshops in a brand new readings series in conjunction with The Center for Contemporary Opera and The Actor's Studio. AOP will continue its tradition of outdoor community presentations, educational symposiums featuring composers and singers introducing their craft to young audiences and students, and commissioning and presenting world-premiere songs throughout the year.


American Opera Projects (AOP) is a driving force behind the revitalization of contemporary opera and music theater in the United States through its exclusive devotion to creating, developing and present new American opera and music theatre projects. AOP's mission is to champion innovative works of music theater, to expand the art form, and to identify, develop and present new works by emerging and established talent. AOP productions have appeared at the Royal Opera House, London, the Lincoln Center Festival, Skirball Center at NYU, the Guggenheim Museum, Symphony Space, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, Berlin's St‹kke Theater and Max Kade Auditorium, Aleksander Fredro Teatr in Poland, the Ensemble Theater am Petersplatz in Vienna, TADA! Children's theater, The Center for Jewish History, the Daryl Roth 2 Theatre, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and at many out-of-doors performances sponsored by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation. AOP won a 2006 Encore Award from the Arts Business Council of NY for its innovative work and is a member of OPERA America.


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