Opera does not just happen with the big guys, the future of opera is happening now in small opera companies with independent producers. Listed by Playbill as one of the “Must-Listen Podcasts for Opera and Classical Music Fans,” The Indie Opera Podcast is the place to go to for news about where opera is headed, in companies that are creating new operas and who are presenting the classics in new ways for wider audiences, no matter how big or small.
The Indie Opera Podcast was created in 2011 to focused on the heart and soul of opera production, in the trenches where new work is created and the future opera is being openly debated. Please become a regular listener and if you have projects that we need to know about email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Szep — Executive Producer, Co-Host
Peter Szep helped create the New York Opera Alliance which includes over 50 participant organizations, and where he is the creator of the New York Opera Fest—last years festival involved over 35 companies. He has dedicated much of his conducting career to championing new works, including the premier of Harold Farberman’s Diamond Street, with Diamond Opera Company at the Hudson Opera House, conducting the New England premier of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, and Yoav Gal’s The Dwarf at Vertical Player Repertory. Other engagements have included engagements with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, The Millay Sisters, Burt Dow: Deep Water Man and The Singing Bridge at the Stonington Opera House.
Brooke Larimer Business & Operations Manager, Co-host
Brooke is a Vermont-born mezzo-soprano with international stage credits, a passion for entrepreneurship, and an abiding affection for 20th and 21st century classical music. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and The Boston Conservatory, she now lives in The Bronx with her tenor boyfriend and orange tabby cat. She is co-founder and Treasurer of Boston Opera Collaborative and sits on the advisory board for Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. A lover of people, coffee, food, books, stand-up comedy, travel, the scientific method, and breaking rules, she is always looking to meet fearless co-conspirators interested in performing, producing, or experimenting with new ideas.
Walker Lewis — Co-host
Hailed by the New York Times for his “imaginative staging,” Walker’s recent directing work includes the Apprentice Scenes at Santa Fe Opera (Enemies: A Love Story, The Pearl Fishers, Poppea, The Italian Girl in Algiers); The Companion (American Opera Projects); Glory Denied (Opera Idaho); The Pirates of Penzance and The Threepenny Opera (Amarillo Opera); The Whole Truth and The Cask of Amontillado (American Modern Ensemble); La clemenza di Tito (dell’arte Opera Ensemble); Tamar da Timna and Il Campanello (Garden State Opera); Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle Ingrate and The Christmas Oratorio (Musica Nuova); Le Nozze di Figaro and Radamisto (Manhattan Opera Studio); and Rise and Fall of the Cityof Mahagonny (Opera America Director-Designer Showcase).
C. Colby Sachs, Associate Producer
Opera has been a major part of his life since early childhood when his parents would sing arias to him and his twin brother or watch Kukla, Fran and Ollie Presents with them. Chuck has had a widely varied career in the creative world as a Composer, Music Director, Arranger, Vocal Coach, Producers Assistant, Production Manager and House/Box Office Manager as well as in Customer Service/Business Management in the regular business world. As a composer, he’s written the scores to over thirty musicals including the notorious Amy Fisher: The Musical. He is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild and an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop.
Ross Crean, Theme and Incidental Music
Composing and creating music with a focus on the evocative and lyrical, Ross Crean began his professional music career as an operatic Bass-Baritone, specializing in avant-garde and Contemporary Classical music, many of which were his own works. A prolific collaborator, he has worked with numerous artists including Metropolitan Opera veteran Heidi Skok, Oberlin College Mozart Players, Opera on Tap Chicago, and Loyola University Museum of Art. His musical work has been featured on Skope TV, Much Music, Fuse TV, and Comcast OnDemand. Ross was most recently signed to Navona Records/Naxos of America to record his opera “The Great God Pan”, due out in Summer 2017. He is currently Resident Composer and Creative Director for Nebula Creatives, based in Chicago.
Noah Lethbridge — Co-Host (Emeritus)
Noah Lethbridge teaches Vocal Music at the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, NY. He studied and sang as a tenor, before co-founding the Indie Opera Podcast with Peter Szep. He holds a BM in Music Education from The Eastman School of Music, and an MA in Musicology from CUNY-CCNY, where he wrote a masters thesis on auto-tune, hip hop, Signifyin(g) and “realness.” Extra-musically, Noah does stand-up comedy and has a son named Otto.
We want to know what is happening in the world of opera, premiers, innovative independent producers, living composers… who are experimenting to find the future of opera. There are magazines and websites dedicated to opera, but they tend to focus on the same hand full of companies, and there are websites that feature collections, individual festivals, and individual opera companies work, but we want to focus on all of these great companies in one podcast. It may be impossible, but we’re going to try.
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