OperaFix May 28, 2018

We have an interview with Jennifer Peterson, creator of the Handel Warehouse, a daylong workshop at the National Opera Center June 1, 2018.  And more events from the New york Opera Fest, for more details about the festival check out nyoperafest.com.

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Today It Rains, a new chamber opera

  • Laura Kaminsky, composer
  • Mark Campbell, co-librettist
  • Kimberly Reed, co-librettist and filmmaker
  • Opera Paralelle – coproducer
  • Nicole Paiement, artistsic director
  • Brian Staufenbiel, Creative Director
  • American Opera Projects – coproducer
  • UC Santa Cruz, workshop location, May 29-31, 2018
  • Based on Georgia O’Keeffe’s 3 1/2 day train ride from New York to Santa Fe in

Handel Warehouse

  • operamission
  • Jennifer Peterson, artistic director
  • Charles Mackay Studio
  • National Opera Center, Opera America

La Favorita by Donizetti

  • New Amsterdam Opera
  • The Center at Wesy Park Sanctuary Theater
  • Production is dedicated fo Dmitri Hrovostovsky

Brokeback Mountatin

  • New York City Opera
  • Charles Wuorinen, composer
  • Annie Proulz, librettist
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater from May 31st to June 4th

Handel Warehouse, 6/1/18

  • Jennifer Peterson, Vocal Coach and Conductor
  • Jeff Caldwell, Stage Director
    • They brainstormed on what they could do within a 12 hour period to work on Handel music with singers and musicians.
  • Charles Mackay Studio
    • Opera America
  • New York Opera Alliance
    • New York Opera Fest 2018
  • Goals of this day long event were to engage and gain new audiences for Handel operas, but also to give singers a place to try out different techniques to approach arias and new roles.
  • Jennifer likes to engage audiences in the actual creation of an opera production from the initial rehearsals towards full performance. It creates a very different energy in the room as opposed to having them sit there as mere observers.
  • 53rd Street Handel
    • NYPL 53rd Street Library, performance space
    • These are newly created 1 hour long Handel Pastiches.
    • It gives the singers a chance to try out a Handel lead role without having to perform the whole opera.
    • Engage 6 singers, choose the repertoire (at least 2-3 arias for each), choose the specific character that will sing these arias, Create a plot based on all those choices.
  • Opera Pastiches are fairly infrequent nowadays.
  • The Enchanted Island produced by Metropolitan Opera is most well-known one.
  • Pastiches were usually thrown together by the producer/composer and the theater manager to fill open slots in the theater’s schedule or to commemorate special events.
  • After choosing the arias for his stable of singers and creating the plot, Handel would then go and write/compose the recitatives that would string everything together.
  • Jukebox Musicals may be the closest type of show that we have to Pastiches. The biggest difference is that the opera arias were written for specific dramatic moments, whereas the songs used in Jukebox are on the whole created for commercial recordings, not a dramatic incident.
  • operamission has commissioned and helped develop new operas.
    • Clint Borzoni, Composer
      • www.clintborzoni.com
      • When Adonis Calls, a chamber opera
        • Opera America New Works Forum
        • Ashville Lyric Opera, NC
        • Thompson Street Opera, Chicago
      • Antionous and Hadrian, a grand opera
      • Margot Alone In the LIght, a chamber opera
        • based on the short story “All Summer In a Day”
        • Ray Bradbury, author
        • Produced by operamisson
        • Presented by Opera On Tap
        • Galapagos Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Clint use functional harmony in his compositions.
    • Functional Harmony, there is a clear chord progression and you can hear the harmonic structure that also supports emotional and dramatic goals in the operas’
    • Static Harmony, often found prevalent in the music of minimalist composers, the harmonic progression shifts very slowly, if at all.
  • Jennifer has a goal to produce all 39 of Handel’s Italian operas in date order.
    • Produced so far: Almira, Rodrigo, Aggripina and Rinaldo.
    • When Handel finished composing Italian operas, he shifted to writing Oratorios in English.
    • Works such as Semele and Acis & Galatea are semi-operas.
  • Next two opera productions will be:
    • Il Pastor Fido (The Faithful Shepherd)
    • Teseo (Theseus)
  • Did Handel recycle any of his operas or sections of them and create new operas?
    • Aci, Galatea e Poliferno , a masque was originally written in Italian.
    • Later, in England he completely reworked it into the opera Acis & Galatea.
  • Handel was a practical composer/producer.
    • He would look at what singers did he currently have in his stable.
    • How much time did he have to create a new opera.
    • Who are the music copyists available.
    • What set pieces have not been thrown out or destroyed from last season.
      • I.E., Rinaldo’s production feature a huge flying chariot with fire-breathing dragons. In Teseo, Medea makes her first entrance on that same chariot device one year later.

Credits: Chuck Sachs, Interviewer, Peter Szep producer/editor

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