Podcast 49: Women Composers and NYOA Opera Fest 2018 Songbook

On this mega show, we play clips from The Opera America Discovery Grants for Female Composers and music from the 2018 New York Opera Fest. This is the most diverse collection of opera ever assembled into one place, so if you ever wanted to know where opera is now, this show is for you.

We have clips from Lisa Despain, Veronica Krausas, Leanna Kirchoff, Julia Meinwald, Germaine Franco, Liza Seigido, Elizabeth Kelly, Alexa Dexa, Experiments in Opera, Bronx Opera, Encompass Opera Theater, Hunter Opera Theater and American Opera Projects collaboration, Regina Opera, Heartbeat Opera, Cantanti Project, Unison Media, Rhymes with Opera, and the little OPERA theatre of ny.

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NYOA New York Opera Fest 2018 opening party and awards ceremony Anne Midgette, Washington Post Music Journalist & Critic 2018 Service Award Honoree


Walker, Peter & Brooke
Cosi fan Tutte by Amadeus Mozart
Metropolitan Opera
Ben Bliss, tenor as Ferrando
Kelli O’Hara, soprano as Despina
When Fiordiligi sang her 2nd Act aria in the Ferris Wheel gondola it reminded
Walker of that huge Crane/Stair set piece used in
L’Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho

Cendrillon by Jules Massanet
Metropolitan Opera
Stephanie Blythe as Madame de la Haltiere
Laurent Pelly, Director
Bertrand de Billy, Conductor

Jerry Springer: The Opera
Signature Theater NYC

Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi
Metropolitan Opera
Sonya Yoncheva as Luisa
Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo
Placido Dominog as Miller

Yerma by Simon Stone after Federico Garcia Lorca
Park Avenue Armory & the Young Vic
Billie Piper as Her

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Bridge Theatre, London
Nicholas Hytner, Director
Ben Whishaw as Brutus
Michelle Fairley as Cassius
David Calder as Caesar
David Morrissey as Mark Anthony

Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
Metropolitan Opera
Franco Zeffirelli, Director and Set Designer

Luisa Miller
Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
I Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Boheme Opera, NJ
Errin Brooks as Canio
Natalie Polito as Nedda


Opera America Discovery grants from the Opera Grants for Female Composers Program
Funded by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

Lisa Despain, composer
That Hellbound Train, based on a story by Robert Bloch
Opera in development
Storyville, a musical
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, lyricist
Coco, Disney animated movie musical, lyricist
Julia Jordan, book
CLIP “S’pose”

Veronica Krausas
Language of the Birds, a choral piece with narrator
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, text
CLIP “No. 4, The Light of San Francisco”
San Francisco Choral Artists
Magen Solomon, Artistic Director
Ghost Opera, a dramma giocoso
Andre’ Alexis, librettist
Calgary Opera
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, direction and design

Language of the Birds reminds Walker of a
Ralph Vaughn Williams choral work

Leanna Kirchoff
To See That Red Thing Flow, a mono-opera
based on the short story Diary of a Madman by Guy de Maupassant
Excerpt from the Opera’s climax
CLIP Live in Studio C at Nashville Public Radio
Jeffrey Williams, baritone
Kevin Jablonski, bassist
Ben Harris, pianist

Reminds Walker of another composers style:
Stewart Copeland
The Tell Tale Heart, based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe

Friday After Friday, an opera in development
Leanna Kirchoff, composer
Rachel J. Peters, librettist

Julia Meinwald, composer
Gordon Leary, librettist
CLIP “Run, Little Boy”
Singers on the clip: Sam Heldt, Evan Maltby, Matt Oster, Emily Walton, Kelsey Lake, Hameko Greensmith, Lauren Marcus, Elexis Morton,
Allison Posner and Libby Servais

This show follows the story of a girl, who they call Our Girl, who shares a birthday with Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold. She is part of an online group that call themselves Columbiners, who, while they do not condone acts of violence, harbor fascination and empathy for the shooters.

Julie is a graduate or participant of the
NYU Tisch Musical Theater Writers program
Dramatists Guild Fellowship
American Lyric Theater

Rocktopia, rocked up classical music concert on Broadway

Germaine Franco, composer
Adrian Molina, co-writer
Coco, animated movie musical
Disney Company
CLIP 1: Ahora – This is a Corrido from a Theater work called the Language of Flowers,  written by Edit Villareal (Lyricist and Writer).It’s a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, set in LA. This is Romeo singing about how he has fallen for Juliet.
CLIP 2: No Me Dejas Atrás.  – This is a cumbia from the film Margarita. Directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert. The character Margarita is enjoying a day with her partner.

La Capitana!, opera in development
Nancy De Los Santos, co-librettist
Alejandra Martinez, co-librettist

Liza Seigido, composer
CLIP “Fugue for String Quartet”
Performed by 104 String Quartet:
Rafael Galvan & Alejandro Larumbe – Violins
Rafael Ramirez – Viola, Roxana Mendoza – Cello

Cyborgs Are Dancing, opera in development
based on Petrarch’s Canzonieres

Elizabeth Kelly, composer
Trenton Pollard, poet
CLIP “Nuclear Shadow”
Sabine Wuethrich, soprano
Daniel Kramer, piano

Alexa Dexa, composer and performer
Year of Abandon, 7th self-released toychestral electronic pop album

CLIP “Nestling”
Based on a section of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Panel thought it sounds like:
Bjork, Tori Amos, Madonna, Chryssie Hynde, Lauren Hill

NYOA New York Opera Fest 2018 Participants

Experiments In Opera
And Here We Are, a shadow puppet opera
Matthew Welch, composer
Daniel Neer, librettist
CLIP “Abiko”
Joe Chappel, bass sings Abiko
Daniel Neer, tenor sings Edgar

The opera is about Welch’s great-uncle Edgar Kneedler’s inspiring story of survival in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines during WW2 and illustrates the power of music to create bonds between cultures and to transcend the greatest adversities.

Bronx Opera
Der Freischutz by Carl Maria von Weber
CLIP “Act 3 women’s chorus scene”
Michael Spierman, co-conductor
Eric Kramer, co-conductor
Benjamin Spierman, director

Encompass New Opera Theatre
Paradigm Shifts Music & Film Festival
Opening Program: A Patch of Blue Sky in a World Turned Upside Down

Richard Pearson Thomas, festival music director
CLIP “Dirty Music Too Hot to Handle”, a Violin Concerto

Kurt Weill
Stavisky, a film with an original score by Stephen Sondheim
French Salon Jazz

Hunter Opera Theater
Richard Burke Pocket Opera at Hunter College
American Opera Projects
OPERAabbit, an one-act opera
Mariel Mayz, composer
Andrew Mayz, librettist
MarShawn, an one-act opera
Joe Young, composer & librettist
Based on the life of MarShawn McCarrel

The Bone Keepers, an one-act opera
Casey O’Neil, composer
Sophia Chapadjiev, librettist

Regina Opera
Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi – Festival 2018 production
La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi – 2017 production
Gregory Ortega, Conductor
Linda Lehr, Director
CLIP “Tenor Aria” from Act 2
Thomas Massey, tenor as Alfredo

Heartbeat Opera
Fidelio by Beethoven
Don Giovanni by Mozart
CLIP “O Welche Lust”, The Prisoners Chorus
East Hill Singers, Lansing, Kansas

Cantanti Project
Tabula Rasa
Felix Jarrar, composer
Bea (Brittany) Goodman, librettist
CLIP “Kiki Montparnasse aria”
Sara Lin Yoder as Kiki
Felix Jarrar, pianist

Unison Media
The Green-Wood Historic Fund
The Angel’s Share, a new series of opera and chamber music concerts
taking place in the cemetery’s Catacombs
The Rose Elf, a chamber opera
David Hertzberg, composer & librettist
After the story of Hans Christian Andersen
CLIP “The Wake World”, and excerpt
David Hertzberg, composer & librettist
Maeve Hoglund, soprano as Lola
R. B. Schlather, director

Rhymes With Opera
Ruby Fulton, co-composer
George Lam, co-composer
John Clum, librettist
Conrad Chu, conductor
Bank Street Theatre
CLIP “The Things of Which I Dream”
Bonnie Lander, soprano as Girl

the little OPERA theatre of ny
This Little Light of Mine: The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price
CLIP “This Little Light of Mine”
Adrienne Danrich, soprano
Djordje Nesic, pianist
Milwaukee Public Television


CLOSING CLIP, Lisa DeSpain, WHERE YOU GONNA GO, HONEY? Julia Murney (Mae), 1901 – New Orleans A young destitute girl with infant in arms, has wandered into the STORYVILLE District. Found by a madam, this “Mother” assesses the situation, gives the girl a dose of reality, and  presents options.

Credits: Peter Szep, Chuck Sachs, John Lynd (Audio Engineer), Peter Szep (Editor)

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